B&M recruits for Gateshead Team Valley store ahead of 16 November opening
The thriving discount retailer B&M is recruiting staff for its new Gateshead store, which is scheduled to open at Team Valley Retail World on Saturday 16 November.
Various permanent roles, including Customer Service Assistants, are currently being advertised on the B&M site, while Gateshead is listed as one of 14 upcoming locations on the ‘new stores’ page. B&M’s store locator lists the planned opening date, and reveals that the store will take over Unit 8 – the 19,000 sq ft premises most recently occupied by PC World. The B&M website also suggests that the Gateshead store will open under the B&M Bargains banner, rather than the B&M Home Store fascia that tends to be more commonly used for the chain’s larger and retail park stores.
It was almost inevitable that Team Valley’s standalone PC World site would be freed up at some point, given that the nearby Currys was recently revamped and rebranded under the dual Currys PC World fascia. Impressively, the letting to B&M will mean that the Land Securities-owned retail park’s 28 units are entirely let, despite having had the challenge in recent years of filling the spaces left by the collapses of Borders, MFI, Comet and Allied Carpets.
Long seen as a brand that would thrive in Gateshead, it remains to be seen whether the opening of a B&M Bargains store at Team Valley will rule out the possibility of the retailer opening a future shop in the town centre, just a couple of miles away.
In the meantime, it also means that the apparent shopfitting activity I spotted this week at the former temporary Tesco (and ex-Kwik Save) at 241 High Street in Gateshead must be for a retailer other than B&M – though at 6,204 sq ft, that unit is a little below B&M’s minimum requirement of 8,000 sq ft in any case.
One of several units vacated as a result of relocations to Trinity Square, its future use will be an important indicator of how far the established areas of Gateshead town centre are able to benefit from any Trinity Square halo effect.
So, while we may have to wait a little longer to see what it becomes, I’ll keep my hopes up that Boyes – the popular Scarborough-based variety chain (with a minimum space requirement of 5,000 sq ft) – might yet have it earmarked for its first Tyneside store, following my suggestion to that effect.
It’s a great indie chain, and – with its quirky haberdashery-to-hifis product mix – the kind of store that would bring something useful and different to Gateshead town centre.
My retail consultancy business, CannyInsights.com, provides bespoke place- and sector-specific market intelligence, including detailed coverage of the North East. It also works with retailers nationwide to improve their stores, customer communications and market knowledge. For more information, visit www.cannyinsights.com, drop me an email, or give me a call on (0191) 461 0361.