Poundworld remains silent on BHS takeover rumours
- Credit: Archant
A discount store has been linked with the vacant BHS unit on Weston-super-Mare High Street this week.
Poundworld has refused to deny claims it will become the next occupier of the anchor unit on the High Street, which has sat empty for a year since BHS was liquidated last summer.
Workers were spotted inside the building this week, where they demolished the stairs near the front entrance.
Rumours then surfaced the discount chain, which has more than 350 stores across the UK, was set to take on the vacant building, but the firm was not moved by the claims.
A Poundworld spokesman said: “We are unable to provide specific details around our store opening programme; however we continually explore opportunities when they present themselves.”
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In May, Poundworld announced it will open a store in nearby Taunton town centre later this year in a large unit in which was vacated by BHS when the firm collapsed.
If Poundworld was to open in the BHS building, it would face direct competition just yards away in the form of Poundland, which occupies one of the larger units on the High Street.
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Town centre manager Steve Townsend believes the High Street’s vacant units are preventing Weston town centre from reaching its full potential, and believes more national businesses are required to draw more visitors.
In May he said: “We definitely need some more retailers. The thorns in my side are the vacant BHS and TJ Hughes buildings and we seem to be hitting a brick wall.
“We’ve got some quality fashion retailers like Walker and Ling, Cecil Walker and Marks & Spencer, but Weston needs some more quality and high-end fashion retailers.”
Chairman of Weston Business Improvement District (BID) Paul Batts believes a big-name business taking on the BHS unit would be good for the town.
He has previously told the Mercury: “If we can attract some of the bigger names, it will be a snowball effect. If a big name took the BHS unit in the High Street, for example, footfall would increase.
“The more money spent locally, the better local business gets, so the more money spent in Weston, the better Weston will get.”