Jun 8 2012 By Michael Russell
My Trade . Manager of Textiles Direct, located in the Arcadia Centre Ealing Broadway, Neil Mason.
A LOVE of meeting new people has inspired the manager of textile chain to keep opening stores, including his latest one in Ealing Broadway.
Neil Mason and his team opened the doors to Textiles Direct in the Arcadia Centre, Ealing Broadway, last Saturday (June 2).
The 42-year-old, of the Wirrall, Merseyside, has been getting to know Ealing from his base in the nearby Premier Inn in Uxbridge Road, while he looks after his company's first ever store in the south of England.
He said: "We've got 60 stores across the country spread over the north west and the Midlands but the want to get into the south, this is our stepping stone into it. We're a discount retailer so we had to find somewhere we can afford but also somewhere with a thriving town centre, which made Ealing perfect.
"We sell soft furnishings, bed linen, ready-made curtains, anything like that for the home. You name it, we've got it."
Mr Mason has worked for Textiles Direct for 20 years, working his way up from branch manager to area manager and new store coordinator.
He says it's his love of people which has kept him there for so long, adding: "I love the job. I think it's seeing that you're helping someone.
"People come to us with a list of measurements with no idea what to do next. They might have moved house and have 10 windows needing curtains. It's not like buying a pair of jeans
"You have to build a good rapport, you can be with someone for about 20 minutes. They leave happy with bags full of curtains and you know it's a job well done."
Ealing is the sixth store Mr Mason has opened in about seven weeks and will move on to his next soon, once he ensures the newly recruited staff are doing well.
But he says he will leave with fond memories of the area.
He said: "I haven't been to the south a lot and coming from the north you have preconceptions, in the same way southerners have about the north.
"But I and my team have been astounded by how nice people have been here in Ealing.
"Traders in the Arcadia Centre have been so welcoming and people are really friendly when you're being served in shops in the town centre.
"We love the people here."