B&M set to move into former BHS store in Hartlepool

The former BHS store in Middleton Grange centre shortly before it closed.
The former BHS store in Middleton Grange centre shortly before it closed.
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A retailer has announced it is to open a second store in Hartlepool by moving into the shopping centre’s former BHS store.

B&M Retail says the new venture in Middleton Grange shopping centre will open next month creating more than 25 jobs.

It is believed to be one of the first BHS stores in the country to secure a new tenant since the collapse of the high street name earlier this year.

The new Hartlepool store will be in addition to the existing B&M home store at the marina’s Vision retail park.

It is due to open on Wednesday, November 30.

A spokesperson from B&M said: “We’re feeling really positive about the creation of new jobs for local people and we hope customers are going to be delighted with their new store.

“We are all really excited to get the doors open and welcome our new customers through the door next month.”

A notice regarding B&M’s refurbishment of the former BHS unit can be seen in the window.

The retailer says it is one of the UK’s fastest growing retailers and its new Hartlepool store will be a welcome boost to the local economy.

It says it will sell a wide variety of branded products including toys, food and drink, pet products, health and beauty and electricals.

B&M is now recruiting for jobs ranging from sale assistants and floor managers to cleaners.

The posts will be a mixture of full and part time positions as well as both temporary and permanent.

Nobody from Middleton Grange shopping centre was available for comment on Friday.

But it is sure to be pleased to have secured a quick turnaround after the closure of BHS in late July.

North East retail consultant Graham Soult said very few of the 163 BHS sites vacated this summer have found new occupants yet.

He wrote on his online blog: “B&M’s opening demonstrates that Hartlepool’s retail appeal can’t be in bad shape, given that very few of the 163 BHS sites vacated this summer have found new occupants yet.

“B&M might not be the upmarket name that some would like to see in Hartlepool, but as a vote of confidence in the town – and a store that will certainly prove popular – its arrival can only be a good thing.”

BHS only moved into the prominent 24,000sqft unit in January 2012 after taking over the store left empty following the collapse of Woolworths.

It was one of the first 20 stores nationally to close with the loss of around 11,000 jobs. Administrators had failed to find a buyer for the retailer which was left with a £571 million pension black hole.

Other recent additions to Middleton Grange shopping centre have included clothes store H&M which took over the large unit previously home to Marks & Spencer, Costa Coffee, and family fashion and homeware chain Pep&Co.

New gym Xercise4Less is also due to open above H&M in December.