Revealed - the store set to replace BHS
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 June 2018
Retailer B&M has confirmed it will move into Weston's former BHS store, ending years of uncertainty over the High Street unit's future.
The store closed in summer 2016 after the company entered administration. Although it had hoped to secure a new buyer no offer was large enough to allow it to continue trading.
Since then work has been carried out to the unit’s interior while rumours have been abound as to what may take its place.
Specsavers moved into part of the building last year and now B&M – which already has a branch in Marchfields Way – is set to open in the near future.
A spokesman said: “We are pleased to announce we are going to be opening a new store in part of the former BHS (store).
“We are feeling really positive about the creation of new jobs for local people and hope customers are going to be delighted with their new store.”
Following the BHS closure the front of the building was used as a makeshift shelter by homeless people which led to it being boarded up.
Boards have also recently been put up at the rear of the unit.
Town centre manager Steve Townsend is pleased a large company wants to ‘invest further’ in the town but feels the area needs more ‘fashion’ retailers.
He said: “It is good to have one less empty unit in the High Street, especially as the entrance to that shop has a problem with begging.
“It is good in terms of extra employment for the town centre.
“A large company which is listed on the stock exchange is willing to invest further in the town centre.
“The negatives are it is a replication of some of the town centre shops we have already.
“We have got to get more fashion.”
Poundworld has previously been rumoured to be taking over while Mercury readers suggested it could be used as a bowling alley and skating rink.
Although no opening date has been set, North Somerset Council says B&M’s move shows ‘confidence’ in Weston’s economy.
A spokesman added: “We are pleased the space is to be filled on a prominent site and, despite difficult times in the retail market, it highlights the confidence shown by retailers looking to grow their business in Weston.”