Tuesday, February 1, 2022

News: Discount retailer sets sights on Rotherham retail park


Underused units at a retail park in Rotherham look set to be taken on by the UK's leading variety goods value retailer, if plans are approved.

At Cortonwood Shopping Park, Unit 9 was formerly occupied by Outfit but is now vacant. Unit 8 is currently occupied by New Look, although the store is only trading on a temporary basis.

A planning application has now been submitted to Rotherham Council that proposes that the units be combined so that B&M Bargains can take 22,000 sq ft of space.

A new external garden centre is also in the plans.

The B&M Group was founded in 1978 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in June 2014. It is a variety retailer with nearly 700 stores in the UK operating under the "B&M" brand, 298 stores under the "Heron Foods" and "B&M Express" brands.

With its status as an essential retailer, the group continues to expand through the COVID-19 pandemic. It has stores in Rotherham town centre and at Parkgate which combine "Big Brands, Big Savings" with 100 new lines added each week, predominantly across general merchandise categories.

The retailer planned 45 gross new stores for this financial year with a longer term UK store target of 950 stores.

The latest plans for Cortonwood include minor external alterations and the installation of a trolley bay outside the front entrance of Unit 8. The existing mezzanines in both units would also be removed.

The application, drawn up by Lichfield planning consultants, argues that B&M should be able to trade from the units as the proposal doesn't increase the total retail floorspace and that less than half of the unit would be used for the sale of food.

The planning approval for the whole scheme set an upper limit for floorspace and included a condition that the units "cannot be used primarily for the sale of food."

The application adds: "The proposed B&M would reoccupy two retail units and provide a source of employment for the surrounding areas; indeed, based upon information provided by B&M, it is estimated that the store would create approximately 20 new jobs."

In 2016, Outfit, was one of a number of retailers to sign up to take units at a new retail development at Cortonwood. Plans for a 98,000 sq ft development, were only passed on appeal at a public inquiry in 2013 after earlier being refused by Rotherham Council.

Outfit was the out-of-town stores within the Arcadia group which brought together brands such as Topshop and Burton. Arcadia went into administration in 2020.

B&M website

Images: Google Maps


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