Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Former Woolworths staff open new Worthing toy shop
7:09pm Sunday 9th September 2012 in News
A pair of entrepreneurs have made the best of their redundancies.
Former Woolworths workers Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes lost their jobs when the High Street chain went into administration in 2009.
But the pair invested their redundancy money into starting their own toy shop and their business is now thriving as they plan to open their fifth branch in Worthing today.
The duo have made the most of the best of Woolworths to launch their chain Toy Barnhaus.
They have employed their former Woolies co-workers and kitted out their shops using fixtures and fittings from the defunct stores.
Crawley father-of-three Mr Buschhaus said: “Steve and I are both ex-Woolworths staff.
“We used our redundancy money to set up our first branch in Crawley in 2009.
“Since then we’ve opened stores in Redhill, Epsom and Croydon.
“We have used the best of what Woolies did.
“They were always good with toys.
“We have hired the ex-manager of the old Shoreham Woolworths and she’ll be running our Worthing shop.
“We have hired a lot of old Woolworths people.
“It’s difficult out there in business at the moment.
“We have set up shops on a shoestring, using fixtures and fittings that have been sold off cheap from other places that have gone bust.
“We get most of our stuff from shop clearances.
“You’ll see bits of shelf you recognise from Woolies and displays from somewhere else, and cash registers from somewhere else.
“I can’t believe how much these things are worth.
“But I think that’s one of the things that catches a lot of new shops out.
“They spend too much money buying everything new.
“We get going cheaply and can always replace them later.
“We have had a lot of people telling us there were no toy shops in Worthing.
“So hopefully people will welcome the new shop.”