One shop ready to move out as another extends
TRADE in Weston’s town centre has received a mixed bag of news this week.
A national retailer is set to move from Weston’s town centre whereas another shop is extending its High Street store.
Mothercare will leave its unit in the Sovereign Shopping Centre on June 23, and will take up half of the former Allied Carpets store opposite Asda in the Philips Road retail estate.
However British Home Stores has announced it will be revealing a new-look store in mid April with more choice for shoppers.
A spokesman for Mothercare said: “The new unit is in line with Mothercare’s strategy to provide out-of-town parenting centres.”
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The chain has not at the moment revealed what implications the move may have for staff at the current store.
Sovereign Shopping Centre manager Nick Cook said: “It’s obviously a blow to lose Mothercare, but we’ve known that they may leave for a while as they usually have a strategy of setting up in out-of-town areas.
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“We’re talking to a few people about setting up in the unit, but it’s in a very early stage at the moment.”
BHS will be revamping its current store but confirmed it will not be extending into the former Ethel Austin building following its closure earlier this month.
A spokesman for BHS said: “The new concept was designed to give shoppers a retail environment that made it easier and more enjoyable for customers to shop.”
She said the shop will be creating a ‘bigger and better’ home department and will also feature a new Wallis clothing concession.
And new figures from Weston’s Town Centre Partnership show that the amount of empty shops is low compared with similar areas across the country.
Steve Townsend, manager of the Town Centre Partnership, said: “There are currently 11 per cent of units vacant in the town centre, which is very good, especially when you consider vacant units in a town like Margate stand at 38 per cent.
“In the past six months there has been an average of 9.65 per cent vacancies in the town’s 564 ground-floor businesses, significantly less than the 11.5 per cent it was in the previous six months.”