Wednesday, 16 March 2011

This is not just a refit..this is an M&S refit

The former M&S Simple Food premises (next to Midas Touch) has been a hive of activity this week, with signs of life about to be breathed back into this long abandaoned unit.

Blog reader 'Caldbeck Kid' writes:

"It looks like this eyesore may be in the process of being transformed. Does anyone know who has taken this over or what the shop might become?

Knowing Worcester Park as I do my bet would be (1) another charity shop (2) hairdressers (3) Italian restaurant. However this is quite a large premises so you never know!"

Update: The old M&S unit is to be a branch of Poundland - opening next Thursday (24th March) with a fun day on Saturday 26th March.

32 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

I have heard it is to become Poundland!

And they said the standard of Worcester Park shops couldn't get any lower...

cllr stephen fenwick said...

The former Marks & Spencer's building is to become a Poundland. Whilst I had no prior knowledge of this development, it is good to see that the building has finally been put to good use. Moreover, bringing Poundland to Worcester Park will be useful during these harsh economic times - cheap good but also employment opportunities. Having spoken to a workman on site yesterday, I was told this will open in a week or two.

However, this is a step in the right direction to improving Worcester Park and Central Road. I am working on ways on how to fill many of the empty shops on the high street, with the hope of bringing in retailers who can offer products (such as clothes, etc..) at reasonable prices, be sustainable during the recession and also bring job opps for Worcester Park residents. I know during the election camapign many residents told us what sort of shops they would like to see on the high street and I will certainly try my hardest to bring those to Central Road in the coming years.

Ian Morris said...

I've heard a rumour that it's going to be a pound land like the one in New Malden where the old Woolworths used to be.
If it is it's just a real shame it's not a drive through Burger King.

Geoff said...

Oh well, that will put the little shop next to John James out of business then. It beggars belief

James said...

Poundland have just tweeted me that they are opening in Worcester Park on Thursday the 24th of March, with a fun day on the 26th of March.

Lady Ga Ga said...

Won't someone please think of the children!
**Clutches Pearls**

Boscombe Road Resident said...

Drive through Burger King, now you're talking! That would've been amazing! Poundland will be useful for some things - as long as it's a proper Poundland http://www.poundland.co.uk/ And not one of those weird mish mash, tried to cram too much in ones like in New Malden.

And to the councillor, I think we do need some clothes shops, maybe a branch of Office shoes that would be great. Or perhaps a nice shop like Lush or the Body Shop (am I giving away my sex here!) You definitely need to do something to bring the shoppers in!

Boscombe Road Resident said...

Or an Aldi, that would've been good, Aldi do some amazing products. Can we have an Aldi please? (Am I lowering the tone of Worcester Park even more??!)

James said...

I can't wait to spend my pound :-(
Seriously it's good news to see some more brands in the high street it will encourage others. I hear that Tesco, is taking the old TV repair shop.

Anonymous said...

If true,this could be yet another nail in the coffin for at least 4 WP businesses.

Alimum said...

Oh no....

Anonymous said...

The reason so many people come up as anonymous is because it is nigh on impossible to populate the Name/URL choice. I've tried numerous times, without success! Perhaps I'm just not that IT savvy?!

Jacey said...

Not a shop I'm keen on and I don't really know exactly what goods they sell but let's not have this WP going downhill rubbish all the time, this is the sign of the times and they do have one in Epsom and New Malden, both places always seem to "rate" themselves above us! Do we want another nail bar, charity shop or hairdresser, or it left empty?. Would rather have M & S back - anyone know why we couldn't keep them here? Trouble is this Poundland could put one or two of the "bargain" type shops we already have if they do household, cleaning stuff, nick-nacks etc. To be honest if I want this sort of stuff I could go to Sutton, or Epsom etc for it. I like WP as it is thanks. Butcher, bakers, fruit shop, great hardware shop, paper shop, small supermarket etc - that's enough for me.

Anonymous said...

At least this is the top-end of the market - Imagine if they opened a 99p store - shock horror! Waitrose should stock up with their bags - apparently people put their purchases from pound shops into posher bags to stop people knowing where they've shopped.

I too think that an Aldi would have been better and complemented the existing shops - Aldi again is posher than Lidl, so in keeping with W.P.

I'm actually more hoorified that Tesco should be allowed to open a store right next to Waitrose and not far from Sainsbury's and the other supermarket in between - this should not be allowed!

Has anyone looked at the shop opposite the old M&S selling used phones, cameras and assorted technology - most of the items are almost as expensive as new - I can't understand how it survives.

Jacey said...

Why couldn't Tesco take the old M & S? Seems a bit too close to Sainsbury's local to me, even if it is dear.
Seems strange that we have 2 male clothes shops but I'd rather not have chain names in - I remember someone asking for Primark recently! Surely if you need the overpriced Body shop or Office, you can go to Wimbledon. That's the appeal of WP - its still got independent shops. And the thought of that dreadful Lush smell that you can smell miles away .....no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Poundland- oh dear! Thought this was a joke when I first saw it. Now I’m not against poundland in a snobby way, but because it will directly compete with existing independent shops and they’re bound to suffer as a result. There’s the seasonal shops, that shop next to superdrug that does similar stuff and I can’t see the little shop next to John James surviving this. After all there’s only a limited amount of this kind of product that people need. Sorry to say this but I do think something like a little Tesco or maybe Co-op would’ve been a better option there as people need groceries more often and the existing chain supermarkets can take the competition. And I can’t see it competing with Saino’s because if you’re coming off the train and you live near the bottom of the high street, you’re not going to trail all the way up the high street to get a few bits and bobs on the way home. Anyway maybe a bit of competition would stop them charging rip off prices- don’t know if anyone else has noticed but everything has a mark up of about 30p on normal Sainsbury’s prices! It would be nice to have something convenient, offering more choice than Iceland and open later than Waitrose down this end of the high street.

Jeff said...

Don't knock Poundland before you've been there, they really do have some good stuff. Like real Alkaline AA batteries at 4 for guess how much? And I bought one of those USB hubs that turns one USB socket into 4 for a quid whereas they're about £6 in Currys. As for the other cut-price shops, I thought that competition is in the consumers' interests.

Anonymous said...

Jacey- can you imagine the smell that would be created if Lush moved in next door to KFC. Mmmm- fatty sickly sweet!

I think WP could really do with some kind of small gym and fitness studio that does aerobics/ yoga classes etc. I know you have the river club and the one at cheam fairly nearby, but you really have to drive which is not ideal given the traffic and the cost of both is ridiculous. There’s a lot of young professionals in WP that travel on the train and having something like this in walking distance that they could pop into on way home would be really useful. Not sure where though? Maybe the old bank chamber on green lane? Bit small but you could have studio upstairs and small gym downstairs.

Anonymous said...

I am writing a news story about this for my university. If you would like to Tweet me your comments about this topic I would be very appreciative.

www.twitter.com/hannahcrompton

Anonymous said...

Yes Anon (17/03) a fitness centre would have been great.Shame it wasn't thought of ,but may have been difficult to fund and the parking could have been a problem.Hence one of the reasons M&S moved out.Re the Bank Chambers wasn't there a scheme 18 months ago to open a muslin cultural centre in the building or has that died as a proposal!!!!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the old M & S building would have made a great small gym!

Jacey said...

Anonymous - I agree about the John James shop, Broadway bargains, shop next to John james being affected. Can't see Tarrant's hardware shop being affected too much - that's agreat little shop. Its not trying to be a snob but I quite like the more independent shops here and I'm sorry but I do think Poundland is a bit downmarket.Yes a small supermarket would be good for the station end of WP. I have to say that living in Longfellow Road originally, after a hard day's work and commute I could scarcely walk up to Happy Graden for a treat!

There is a beautiful gift shop in North Cheam which would be better in WP. Think maybe the rates must be higher as we had a candle/gift shop a couple of years ago in WP. Shame he closed down, then came back and closed again.

Have to say that WP seems a bit small to me to support the likes of Lush or Primark which suits me fine (apparently the Brits' love affair with Primark is on the way out according to papers recently - pity we didn't feel the same about McDonald's!).

Empy shops are common now and I wonder if a lot of people do their research properly, opening hairdresser opposie hairdresser or closing down after 6 months. Shame really.

Martin said...

I'm amazed that it isn't another estate agents. Isn't it about time Foxtons moved in with a fleet of minis?

BenjyP said...

I think the best thing to do would be to reassign the high street to make it more effecient, cram all the shops together removing any gaps in the middle and then turning the freed up units at the top into houses and additional parking for the high street. Creating more customers for the shops in the process and making the area nicer on the whole. I can't be bothered to read back, but whoever suggested the gym, that was a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Welcome move. Every other town has a Poundland so why not Worcester Park? Might inject some life into Central Road as they are always busy.
In the economic downturn which still exists they are one chain that has done well.

We could also do with a Lidls instead of having to choose between Iceland or Waitrose or the the interminable queues at Sainsburys North Cheam.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

The shop next to John James is called Yeso Limited. I spoke to its owner yesterday and they're not best pleased. Overall the reaction I got from shops wasn't great.
Also, I have been in contact with Poundland's press office and be prepared for a special guest at their 'family fun day'...
The special guest will be there from 10am.. enjoy!

www.twitter.com/hannahcrompton

Anonymous said...

Does poundland really offer value? if you look closely the sizes of items are changed to achieve the £1 price, so most branded items don't appear to be any cheaper the normal shops. The rest of the stuff is poor quality, which is just "landfill" as a friend of mine said.

Rick said...

Given that the only available alternative to a Poundland was nothing - except the continuing eyesore of an empty commercial unit, Poundland can only be an improvement. Yes, undoubtedly it would be nicer to have a specialist independent located there, which people would flock to, or a gym that would boost fitness levels throughout KT4 …but neither were ever an option.

Do remember, that previously, we were once given a local ‘up market’ M&S and we failed to utilise it, which made it unviable. M&S clearly know that there are enough local people with enough local money living here to have made it a success, but we made a conscious choice not to shop there, so we can’t blame its failure on M&S or anyone else … except ourselves.

‘Down market’ Poundland have now given the location a chance and it’s up to us whether it succeeds or fails, bearing in mind that the only alternative is a return to an empty unit. So if you have a major issue with a Poundland in Worcester Park (or if you love the look of an empty unit), you can simply choose to pass by and opt to spend rather more on near identical items.

Nichu said...

I hope it's a success, purely for the reason that there's only one thing worse than the sight of an abandoned M&S - an abandoned Poundland!

I'm amazed how any high street shops make enough money. I hope it doesn't cause other shops to go out of business, but surely the whole point of a high street is that it is a marketplace and the customers have choices. The abundance of hairdressers suggests that having too much competition does not necessarily have to be a problem here. Do your market research and offer something that customers want - don't expect people to shop somewhere out of the goodness of their hearts.

A gym would be good but as others have said, there would be no room for parking. So here's an idea, why don't you pretend Poundland is a gym, jog there, jog back - job done!

Jeff said...

Owners of Ford Fiestas (like my grandson)should welcome the opening of Poundland. All such owners will be aware of how frequently the dipped beam bulb blows and has to be replaced. Cost - £9-99 each at Halfords, a bit less if you buy a twin pack.

At Poundland I bought two for £1! That must be as good as it gets at Poundland.

Rowena said...

If we're talking about closed premises, when will someone take over Drury & Cole!

Rowena

Anonymous said...

judy
i love the thought of a poundland in worcester park all your plants bowls ,stationery toiletries and toys i think it will do a roaring trade here and the shop next to superdrug is so dear that it should go. he wants £3 for a potatoe masher ,all that will be £1 i say bring it on a lidl or netto would be nice on the television shop site although i heard all them shops had been bought for flats to be built .lets see.

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