Poundland in talks over two store sites

Wallis and Warehouse, which are to be re-opened as a Poundland

Wallis and Warehouse, which are to be re-opened as a Poundland

0
Have your say

BLACKPOOL could lose two of its biggest high street names to make way for a discount retailer, it was today revealed.

The Gazette understands Poundland is in talks to open a huge new store in Bank Hey Street.

And it is thought women’s fashion stores Wallis and neighbouring Warehouse Outlet could make way for the discount giant’s new store.

Eileen Ormand, Blackpool’s town centre business improvement district (BID) manager, confirmed Poundland was in talks over the Wallis and Warehouse units and possibly the now closed TJ Hughes store.

She said: “You always hope to attract similar businesses to Wallis and Warehouse, so it’s mixed feelings really.

“Most people would rather have a full street than empty shops though – and I’m glad it’s a national retailer.

“People do travel to visit cheap national retailers – look at Primark. Poundland is a growing name for discount branded items and there’s a market for that.

“It’s a growing company with a growing share of the marketplace.

“Most people would rather have a full street than empty shops though – and I’m glad it’s a national retailer.

“People do travel to visit cheap national retailers – look at Primark. Poundland is a growing name for discount branded items and there’s a market for that. It’s a growing company with a growing share of the marketplace.

“But I’m still concerned for Church Street where there are empty units.

“I expect Poundland will do very good business. We’ve got to think positive about it - it’s another national firm investing in Blackpool and it’s not a short-term let from what I believe which is good.”

Poundland, which is embarking on a huge expansion plan across the UK, would only confirm the existence of plans for a new Blackpool store.

It currently operates from a site on Church Street, selling goods costing up to £25.

A spokeswoman said: “I can confirm there are plans to launch a new store in Blackpool however this is very much still in the planning stages so unfortunately, I have no further details available at this time.”

Bosses at Wallis, which has a concession inside British Home Stores in the town centre as well as its shop on Bank Hey Street, said nothing had been confirmed and declined to comment on the matter.

No one from Warehouse was available for comment.

Bank Hey Street shoppers were non too pleased about the possibility of losing two high street big hitters.

Helen Bunce, from Carleton, said: “I don’t think it’s a good move.

“I don’t want to see more cheap shops – how many of them do you need?”

And friend Sue Clarke, also from Carleton, added: “There’s just so many of these shops now. We want to see some decent shops like the Trafford Centre has – not more cheap stuff.”

Claire Brady, from central Blackpool, said: “I’ll really miss these shops to the point I might go elsewhere for my shopping now.”

And Moira Smith, from Layton, added: “I do like a good cheap shop but really, how many do you want?”

A straw poll of 20 passing shoppers found just two preferring a discount retailer on the site over the two clothes stores.

The shock news follows the closure of Blackpool’s TJ Hughes – just yards away on Bank Hey Street – last week, which saw 65 people lose their jobs.

Last Wednesday, the stricken national discount retailer’s remaining five stores were closed.

Tom Jack, joint administrator, said: “A purchaser for these remaining stores was not found, and regrettably we had to schedule these final store closures.

“We are extremely grateful to the employees and management at all the group’s stores for their loyalty and support during this very difficult time.”