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20 October 2020 18:31

Geek Retreat James Redford Robert Redford

"During the pandemic, while our gaming events have had to stop and the hospitality side of our business is more difficult, our stores still have loyal communities who support our retail side," Geek Retreat boss Peter Dobson told the BBC. National Property Stephen Farrell Entertainment retailer Geek Retreat has set out plans to open 100 new high street stores across the UK over the next two years. The openings are expected to support the creation of about 600 jobs. The Geek Retreat franchise, which opened its first store in Glasgow in 2013 and now employs 110 people, combines a comic bookstore, gaming cafe and events hub. There are currently 14 city centre stores, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, the Wirral, and two in London, which stock geek culture merchandise including comics, posters, clothing, figures and memorabilia, as well as games and trading cards.

New stores in Bournemouth, Northampton, Liverpool and are due to open shortly. Northwich and Chelmsford were the most recent launches. Chief executive Peter Dobson said: "The UK's gaming and hobby sector is a real success story and Geek Retreat is a home for the communities who are at the heart of this phenomenon. "The wellbeing of our customers and staff has always been incredibly important to us – now more than ever everyone should expect a friendly, safe and clean environment to meet and play. "We have made sure all of our stores are welcoming and accessible to gamers whatever their interests, providing a place for our loyal customers to get out of the house and play safely post-lockdown."