Thursday, July 26, 2012

News: Discount retailers target Rotherham for expansion


Fast-growing discount retailers are looking to take more commercial space in Rotherham.

B&M Retail Limited are set to take a vacant unit at The Foundry retail park having recently applied for a premises license at the development on Great Eastern Way at Parkgate.

B&M has seen rapid expansion in recent years to over 280 stores and now employs over 10,000 staff. The retailer took over the vacated Woolworths store in Rotherham town centre in 2009.

The trend continues at nearby Parkgate Shopping, where discount retailer, Poundland has recently moved into a bigger unit.

Mill store Ponden Home are also set to open a new store in Rotherham as the recruitment of staff is underway. The store specialises in home furnishings and homewares and is owned by The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the group that acquired 77 stores from struggling Rotherham-based retailer, Rosebys in 2008.

This follows the move to Rotherham by Boundary Mill Stores who are creating 300 jobs in opening a new outlet at Catcliffe in September.

Across town, an unnamed discount retailer is also looking to open a new outlet in the former B&Q store on Tenter Street on the edge of the town centre.

A planning application that would give permission for 20% of the floor area (around 576 sq m) to be used for the sale of food, was approved by members of the planning board last week. This would be an integral part of the occupation of the store by a discount retailer.

B&Q relocated to a larger store in Rotherham at Northgate in 2009. The unit has found an unusual use in the mean time with the National Community Wrestling Alliance recently using the empty store for wrestling training.

The applicant, Oakgate, has previously attempted to gain planning permission to allow for the whole site to be used for the sale of food with the aim of letting the site to a supermarket. These previous plans were withdrawn as they were recommended for refusal by council planners.

The planner's report on the latest plans from Oakgate to allow for food retail on the site state that: "the applicant has stated that this will allow the occupation of the unit by a discount retailer where sales are predominantly non food (as would be allowed without any planning permission).

"There is however a requirement for a small amount of floorspace to be occupied for food sales (convenience goods)."

Parkgate Shopping website

Images: BNP Paribas


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