Specsavers to relocate Weston High Street shop to former BHS building
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 October 2017
A vacant High Street unit which has been gathering dust for more than a year will be brought back into use by Christmas, with a retailer set to relocate its business.
Part of Weston’s former BHS building, which has been empty since the firm went into administration last summer, will be home to a new Specsavers store – with the opticians set to move just a few yards across the High Street to a newly-created unit.
A moving date for the store is yet to be confirmed, but work to transform the building has begun – with scaffolding covering the shop frontage.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the store is relocating and that shop fitters have commenced work at the new premises to convert it into a state-of-the-art opticians and audiologists.
“However the new store is not due to open until just before Christmas and we are not in a position to say any more at this stage. As soon as we can we will share full details of the new store.”
The former BHS store was split into two units six weeks ago, and Specsavers will occupy the newly-created smaller shop.
The relocation does little to reduce the number of vacant shops on the High Street, with businesses like Intersport and Accessorize recently shutting up shop – leaving some of the town’s prominent retail buildings out of use.
But town centre manager Steve Townsend welcomed the news, believing it could lead to empty shops being filled.
He told the Mercury: “It’s encouraging it hasn’t been forgotten about and something is happening with that big old unit.
“Hopefully it means there is going to be some activity to fill the bigger side, and I’d love to get some idea of the owner’s plans for the remainder.
“I think it will be easier to fill the vacated Specsavers shop rather than the massive BHS building, too.”
It was mooted in August that Poundworld would add to its 350-store portfolio by opening a shop in the other unit of the building.
And credibility may have been added to that theory with former BHS shops in Taunton and more recently Exeter becoming Poundworld stores – but the discount chain declined to comment on the rumours lining the firm to Weston.