North east c-store chain Bells Stores is pumping £7m into the business in the next three years to boost its numbers to 70 and refurbish the estate. A new pale blue fascia and store design have been unveiled at the company's 49th store in Billingham, Cleveland. The 2,000 sq ft store will serve as a prototype for all future stores, showcasing new fixtures, ceramic flooring and an enhanced chilled, fresh and frozen range, said md Richard Collins. "The store is already trading at 35% above our highest budgeted levels and has quickly established itself at the centre of the local community. Customer reaction has been superb and undoubtedly our fresh, clean and uncluttered new branding has added real value to our overall offer." "We will shortly be opening our 50th store and plan at least six new stores a year." The entire estate will have the new look in three to four years, said Collins. {{NEWS }}