South Shields’s struggling town centre will soon be welcoming a much-needed new store.
Clothing firm Peacocks has revealed it will be opening its first South Shields branch in King Street next month.
The firm, which also has an outlet in Jarrow, will be taking over the recently-closed Store 21 at the top end of the street near the Market Place.
Store 21 closed its doors in June after six years of trading due to the retailer’s bid to avoid administration.
Originally the location, and the site next door, housed Woolworths.
Peacocks have made no official comment on the store opening, but it has advertised for a manager and deputy to run the store.
Yesterday the shop was displaying signs announcing the fact it was being taken over by Peacocks.
Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy at South Tyneside Council, says he is pleased the site has been quickly re-occupied.
He said: “This is good news for South Shields town centre and King Street in particular. I am glad that the unit has been let out so quickly.
“We look forward to welcoming another Peacocks store to South Tyneside – in addition to the company’s store in Jarrow. Peacocks will be a great addition to the retail offers in the town centre.”
The new business is set to be welcomed by shoppers, who have seen a number of stores leave the town centre in recent times.
In July, BHS closed in nearby Waterloo Square – which saw up to 11,000 jobs lost nationwide as a result of the firm’s collapse, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the retailer.
At about the same time chocolate company Thorntons in King Street finally closed for good.
That’s Entertainment sold its last CD in April, after originally shutting up shop in February – but managing a short stay of execution.
And the Officers Club closed in January after owners A Levy & Son, which trades as Blue Inc and Officers Club, appointed administrators.
The new Peacocks shop will hopefully bring some much-needed footfall back to the top end of the street, which has suffered a decline since food giants Marks & Spencer left town in March 2014.
South Tyneside Council is leading the regeneration of South Shields through the £100million 365 Masterplan scheme, a wholesale revamp of the town centre.