The Range Home and Leisure

The Range Home and Leisure

Infobox Company
company_name = CDS Superstores
company_type = Public
foundation = 1988
location = Plymouth, UK
key_people = Chris Dawson (CEO)
industry = Retail
products = Home and garden furnishing
num_employees = 2,300 (2006)
homepage = []
footnotes =

CDS Superstores International is the parent company of " The Range Home Garden and Leisure (often referred to as "The Range"), a chain of department stores in the United Kingdom.

Since opening the first ‘superstore’ at the Sugar Mill Business Park in Plymouth in 1988, the company has successfully expanded.The Range originated in the markets of the Southwest where Chris Dawson started business in 1980 as an open air market trader. It is from these humble roots that The Range has grown with the company opening the first 'superstore' at Sugar Mill Business Park in Plymouth in 1989. There are now 30 stores as far afield as York offering 65,000 products across 16 departments and employing over 2,500 staff.

The Range is recognised for its unique variety, and for offering affordable quality in its range of products. The Range concept is to offer 'mid-price' home, leisure and garden products, drawing together everything that could be needed for the stylish home at affordable prices.

In 2005 The Range ranked 78 on The Sunday Times Price Waterhouse Coopers profit track 100 league tables of the UK's fastest growing companies. In 2006 a congratulatory award was presented by Cadbury Trebor Bassett in recognition of sales achievements. On a personal level, Chris Dawson's entreprenurial talent has earned him wide recognition amongst the business community.

Chris Dawson

A stereotype of the rags-to-riches entrepreneur, Chris Dawson started trading while still at school, which he left with no qualifications. Not yet well known outside his home town of Plymouth, Dawson is a legend in the south-west, where starting out as a market trader flogging kit from a suitcase, he has since amassed a personal fortune in excess of £200 million pounds through his rapidly expanding chain of superstores. The feat is all the more remarkable that he remains, at the age of 53, virtually illiterate. The business turns over £190 million a year, from which Dawson makes 9%. This puts him at number 15 in MT's Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the UK this year.


Currently The Range have 33 operating stores comprising of:"'

Andover Doncaster Norwich
Blackburn Enfield Nottingham
Bolton Exeter Plymouth
Bournemouth Gosport Rochdale
Bristol Harlow Scunthorpe
Cardiff Hull Southampton
Cheltenham Ipswich Southport
Clacton Kidderminster Swansea
Colchester Leeds Wigan
Coventry Newport York
Romford Carlisle Swindon

With new stores planned to be open this year in Truro, Peterborough, Halifax and Torquay

Product Ranges

Offering 65,000 products through 16 departments, The Range concept is to offer ‘mid-price’ home and garden products, drawing together everything that could be needed for the stylish home at affordable prices. This product range is unique in the UK market at present and demands a large amount of retail space, good design and a comprehensive buying ability to ensure a consistent supply of interesting and often unique stock. The core element of the product range is the complementary nature of many of the products and the synergy that exists between the ranges. The idea is to draw customers to the different areas and become a one-stop shop for home and garden products. Some stores also have cafés.

Arts /Crafts Camping D.I.Y. Furniture Gallery Garden Patio Gifts
Pets Housewares Leisure Lighting Food Rugs Textiles Camping


In 2007, The Range won "the organisation best committed to the changing of business practices" at the annual Severnside recycling award at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff. The award highlighted The Range’s efforts to develop new business practices that improve new and existing recycling initiatives.

After conducting a comprehensive review of their waste management techniques, an extremely bold move was made. Each of their thirty-three stores had their waste bin capacity reduced by over 80% in volume. It is fair to say that this move was received with some shock by many of the store managers – but it is to everyone's credit in the organisation that 8 months down the line The Range has now established cardboard, plastic, polystyrene and metal recycling streams. Not stopping there, the next step is to introduce a pallet shredder to recycle used wooden pallets to sell as wood chippings in their garden centres.

From zero, The Range is now recycling 56 tonnes of cardboard and 8 tonnes of plastic every week. This change in ethos becomes doubly important when you consider The Range plans to increase its estate by 130 stores in the coming years.

Chris Dawson, owner of the Range, commented, “The time has come for businesses, no matter their size, to realise that we have an impact on the sustainability of the environment and that through simple initiatives, we can all accept responsibility and contribute towards a bright future for both retailers and the communities in which our customers live.”


The Range regularly have sales of £200 million each year on a marketing budget of less than £2 million. The Range primarilly uses local radio stations and national newspapers to advertise their Stores. Such campaigns have proved to be very successful in promoting the Range with sales growing rapidly each year

External links

* [ The Range's consumer website]
* [] Management Today interview with Chris Dawson

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