Family Bargains to close doors
THE shop that took over the former Woolworths store in the Galleries shopping centre is to close.
Family Bargains will close its doors within a matter of weeks after a two-and-a-half year stint at the site.
It moved in to the key site on the ground floor of the indoor shopping mall in August 2010, 18 months after Woolworths went out of business.
Bosses at the shopping centre say they are in talks with various firms to find a new firm to occupy the store and an announcement is expected soon.
The Galleries has been hard-hit by the recession and has more than 15 per cent of stores in the shopping centre standing vacant. It recently underwent a major refurbishment which saw the food court moved down a floor to make way for a new 99p Store – owned by the same company which runs Family Bargains.
Centre manager Colin Lang said: "The store's closure was expected as it was part of an agreed short-term lease. As Family Bargains is owned by 99p Stores, their vision was to open what is in effect a sister brand to test the appeal of a value proposition within The Galleries.
"When it became clear that there is indeed a market for this offer, 99p Stores committed to opening in the former top floor location of the Food Court last November and are trading well. Whilst it is always regrettable to see a retailer leave us, the important factor is that our shoppers will continue to enjoy all that a major value brand like the 99p Stores has to offer, as well as having access to our premium outlets.
"We are progressing negotiations with a number of new retailers with a view to taking Family Bargains' vacant space and expect to make an announcement shortly."
A 99p Stores Group spokesman said: "The premises were on a relatively short lease, which has come to a natural end. Because we recently opened a large – and new – 99p Stores in the Galleries we decided we wanted just the one presence there."