Discount retailer opens doors

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 July 2011

Mothercare will vacate the unit on Thursday

Mothercare will vacate the unit on Thursday

Copyright Archant Ltd

A DISCOUNT retailer has moved into the former Mothercare unit in the Sovereign Shopping Centre this week, provoking mixed reactions from weston residents.

National chain 99p Stores opened yesterday (Weds), and is set to create 35 jobs.

Centre manager Nick Cooke said he was ‘delighted’ to welcome the store - which will be the company’s 148th in the UK - to the Weston venue.

The Mothercare unit had been empty since the chain moved out on June 23 to a new site on the Phillips Road retail estate.

Mr Cooke said: “We’re delighted to secure a national retailer such as 99p Stores. I think the fact the Mothercare unit has been empty for no more than four weeks has been testament to the strong shopping location of the centre.

“99p Stores will undoubtedly prove a good attraction for the centre.”

The move comes as the company says it is targeting Somerset as part of a massive UK expansion.

Managers say 99p Stores will fill the 35 vacancies through co-operation with Jobcentre Plus.

Reaction to the news has been mixed, with some saying the shopping centre has ‘dumbed down’, while others have welcomed the discount retailer in the current economic climate.

Shopper Hugh Tufnell, of Clifton Road, Weston, said: “I think it’s a big mistake to have something like this come into the centre, we already have other discount stores in the centre of the town, why another?

“I just feel they are dumbing the centre down to be honest.”

Another shopper, Julie Youngman, of Forest Drive, Weston, said: “The town is crying out for good clothes shops, and the unit 99p Stores has moved into is a decent size. I would have preferred something which could bring more people in really.”

But others have welcomed the news – Wyvern Close resident Luke Garbutt said: “I think it’s good to have shops where people can afford to get stuff at good prices at the moment. I like it.”

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