Bar­gain shop set to open at site of old Wool­worths


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Retail Update - By Dan Wright

Home­ware gi­ant B&M will open in Ash­ford’s for­mer Wool­worths store next month, the Kentish Ex­press can re­veal.

Bosses at the national dis­count chain, which was set up in 1978, will throw open the doors of the High Street premises on Fri­day, Novem­ber 17, cre­at­ing 40 jobs.

Coun­cil chiefs say the news is a ma­jor vote of con­fi­dence in the town cen­tre, as B&M is best known for opening stores at outof-town re­tail parks.

Cllr Gra­ham Galpin, Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil port­fo­lio holder for the town cen­tre, wel­comed the new ar­rival, say­ing: “I am very pleased B&M is opening in the town cen­tre.

“Their busi­ness model usu­ally in­volves out-of-town stores, so it is a big step for­ward that they have cho­sen to open a shop in the cen­tre of Ash­ford.

“It has been a prom­i­nent bar­gain shop for a while ever since Wool­worths was there, and it makes me very proud to see the shop full again.”

Wool­worths shut up shop on New Year’s Eve in 2008 after ad­min­is­tra­tors for the ail­ing com­pany could not find a buyer, clos­ing 807 stores across the coun­try.

The store re­opened as a 99p Stores in 2009, but be­came Pound­land last year when the 99p Stores busi­ness was taken over.

The shop has sat empty since Pound­land closed in July, with bosses fo­cus­ing on their store in the for­mer JJB Sports shop Cllr Gra­ham Galpin in County Square in­stead.

Cllr Galpin added: “When I see a shop is empty in the town, I get upset and an­gry.

“It is frus­trat­ing that I can’t wave a magic wand and change it, but I am de­lighted to see a new busi­ness going in there now.

“You have to be pa­tient with these things and I welcome all new re­tail­ers and leisure de­vel­op­ments in the town cen­tre.”

A B&M spokesman said cus- tomers can ex­pect toys, food and drink, health and beauty, home­wares and a pet range.

The firm al­ready has an out-oftown store on the Ash­ford Re­tail Park in Sev­ing­ton.

The spokesman said: “We are feel­ing re­ally pos­i­tive about the cre­ation of even more jobs for lo­cal peo­ple and we hope cus­tomers are going to be de­lighted with their new store.

“We are all ex­cited to get the doors open and welcome our new cus­tomers through the door in a few weeks.”

Jobs at the store are be­ing ad­ver­tised on the B&M ca­reers web­site, rang­ing from sales as­sis­tant to floor man­agers and clean­ers. Visit­stores.­reers for de­tails.

What do you think? Write to Kentish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall shop­ping cen­tre, Ash­ford, TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­

Dis­count chain B&M will open a new store in Ash­ford at the for­mer Wool­worths build­ing

The Wool­worths store be­fore it closed in 2008

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