New anchor tenant for shopping centre

HOPES are high that a town shopping centre will be given a much-needed boost with confirmation that a leading discount department store is set to move into a key unit.

HOPES are high that a town shopping centre will be given a much-needed boost with news that a leading discount department store is set to move into a key unit.

Leading discount department store TJ Hughes is to move into the former Allders site at the Buttermarket Centre in Ipswich, following the collapse of the department store chain around a year ago.

The centre has suffered a drop in footfall of two or three per cent in the last year since the departure of the major retailer, which occupied a 120sq ft.

There was great disappointment when Allders, the centre's biggest and best-known tenant, vacated the unit last March, after the financially-troubled chain went into administration.


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But, following month's of speculation, it has been confirmed that T J Hughes is set to open the doors to a brand new store in early summer. It will be the retailer's first ever store in Suffolk and its 51st outlet in the UK, with stores from Dundee to Bournemouth.

The company, which has been in existence for almost 100 years, provides quality brand names at competitive prices, as well as discounts on a wide range of goods from fashion to housewares and electrical goods.

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Paul Clement, head of The Ipswich Partnership welcomed the news.

“This is fantastic news for Ipswich town centre and credit must go to Colin Roberts (the Buttermarket Centre manager) and his team at the Buttermarket for the many hours that they have put in to secure T J Hughes.

“The addition of a new anchor store in the shopping centre is a huge boost for the town centre and we look forward to welcoming T J Hughes and the jobs that will be created from their presence.

“It has been a difficult period for the town centre with some closures, but this demonstrates that the tide may well be turning. It is a significant achievement to secure the first T J Hughes in East Anglia.”

Robin Dickie, chief executive of T J Hughes, said: “Despite being new to the region, we are delighted that the store is already creating such interest in Ipswich. Everybody loves a bargain and, in offering discounts for life and not just for sales, we are committed to ensuring that all our customers' requirements are met in each store we open.”

He added: “We are going the extra distance to create a spacious, yet contemporary feel for our new Ipswich store and I look forward to our official opening later this year.”

The Ipswich store is one of 12 T J Hughes shops planned over the next year, with more expansion forecast for the medium term for the company.

Buttermarket Shopping Centre manager Colin Roberts said: “I know the Ipswich public is going to be delighted with T J Hughes. Their product ranges are excellent and their keen pricing even better.”

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