Our History & Heritage

Seventy Never Looked So Good


Explore our timeline below to see how Housing Units has grown over the last 70 years to become one of the UK's top department stores.


Our tale begins with the opening of a small store in Hollinwood
The store you know and love started life as a humble builders merchants selling anything from building materials to washing machines.

The beginnings of a retail revolution
Even back then we went above and beyond to please our customers. When other stores shut at lunch time, we opened all day Saturday.

More products. More Choice.
We quickly expanded to offer customers a more varied shopping experience, ranging from DIY products and woodcutting, to pots, pans and other knick knacks and gifts.


Our second store opens its doors
As word spread and demand grew, we recognised the need to expand, and opened another store.



Our success continues resulting in the opening of another store
We quickly needed more space for our wide range of building materials, fireplaces and DIY products. We transformed a former paint works on Wickentree lane into our third store.



The birth of one true home furnishing centre
As we continued to grow, so did our ambition. To achieve our goal of becoming a leading home furnishing retailer to create something special, we merged all our stores to create a massive five acre purpose built store in 1991.

Even the recession couldn't slow us down
The new store was a roaring success and we quickly needed more staff to cope with demand. Before long we added another store on the same site.

Goodbye DIY products. Hello Emporium and Fireplace Centre
We took the difficult decision to stop selling building and DIY products. The growth of the home furnishings market became and exciting opportunity for us to focus on.



Expanding for a new millennium
Throughout the early 2000s we continued to expand rapidly, adding a new bathroom centre and a second cafe in 2000.

We followed this with the addition of a £4m, 67,000sq ft distribution and administration centre adjacent to the store. This further improved customer service by allowing many furniture ranges to be kept in stock.



A £1.5m makeover, plus another award
This year Housing Units was special for a few reasons. We scooped the UK Retailer of the year award for fires and rejuvenated both stores with a new cafe, new departments and completely transformed the Home Furnishing Store.

We unveil The Crescent to the public
Our new development brought nursery goods to our store with the introduction of "Coo Chi Coo". This was followed by the opening of the Kitchen Design Centre and our very own carpet and flooring centre.



The Wickentree serves its first meal
Our famous award winning restaurant opened and was an instant success. It offers customers a fine and casual dining choice, making a trip to Housing Units an even better family day out.

The Furniture Outlet gives customers even better value
The Crescent welcomed the addition of the Furniture Outlet; a department dedicated to providing exceptional value to our customers.



Crowned the UK's Number 1 Department Store
This year marked a proud moment in our history as we were officially recognised as the UK's No 1 Department Store.



Another award and Kids World joins the party
Another successful year was marked with us receiving the UK's No 1 Department Store Award once again. We also opened Kids World, which specialises in kids furniture, toys, clothes and shoes.



Housing Units Celebrates 65 Successful Years!
During 2012, further expansion and development took place with additional floor space also being created from former offices which were replaced by a new state of the art office block, allowing the hugely successful Furniture Outlet to double in size to 5000 sq. ft. All this enabled the carpets and flooring department to move into the Emporium store along with a new Elegant Living furniture department, allowing more space to be dedicated to new styles of furniture reflecting the changing fashion.

The Bedroom department also doubled in size allowing the best range of beds to be displayed in the North and a fantastic new Chesney's fireplace studio was opened. On the 28th September, the final phases of the Emporium developments were completed. Within the Home Furnishing Store the Cookshop and Tableware departments were refreshed and a live demonstration kitchen was also added.



Our new website gives shoppers even more choice
After a decade of online success, we revitalised our website to give customers an even more enjoyable home shopping experience. Explore thousands of stylish products online at housingunits.co.uk



Celebrating 70 successful years
Much has changed over the 70 years since the first site in 1947, but Housing Units still remains a privately owned family business who cares and is committed to providing great service, quality and value. Thank you to all customers, old and new who have allowed this to happen, from all Housing Units staff.

The £5m expansion of our store and Distribution Centre begins
Our store is getting bigger and better with a stylish new Bedroom Centre and the introduction of a fantastic new dining concept. We're also expanding our Distribution Centre to bring you even more products and further improve our service.