Friday, May 9, 2014

News: Wilko staying in Rotherham town centre


Wilkinson, the value general merchandise retailer, has signed a five year lease at its Rotherham town centre store as it prepares to open a new outlet at Parkgate.

Rothbiz revealed in March that the Worksop-based High Street chain is set to take the large unit that was vacated by electrical retailer, Comet at Parkgate Shopping, one of the largest retail parks in the UK.

Now an agreement has been reached with Rotherham Council that would see the Corporation Street store staying open for at least five years if plans for Parkgate are approved.

Modifications to previously approved plans are set to be signed off by the council's planning board that will allow Wilko to occupy part of the premises. The plan is to remove the restrictions on the Parkgate unit that permits only the sale of bulky goods.

In support of the plans, Wilkinson states that there are no more sequentially preferable sites available for the proposed use and that out of centre locations attract a different customer base, and rather than compete with existing in centre stores, would complement them.

Wilko operates town centre and out of town stores in a number of locations and believes that the two can coexist in relatively close proximity with success.

The supporting information goes on to say that Wilkinson has signed a five year lease on the town centre store.

In appraising the plans, a report to the council's planning board states: "A Unilateral Undertaking has been scrutinised by the Council and completed and this has the effect of securing the existing Wilkinson store within the town centre for a period of five years (from March 2014).

"It is considered that five years is a reasonable period of time and ensures that the store is not decanting from a town centre location to occupy a less sequentially preferable site in an out of centre shopping centre leaving a vacant unit in the town centre.

"Taking account of the sequential test and bearing in mind that the proposal will result in the occupation of a vacant unit which has been unsuccessfully marketed for a bulky goods use; it is recommended that the amendments to the Section 106 agreement be agreed."

Wilkinson website

Images: Wilkinson


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