Penicuik’s Town Centre has been dealt a significant blow following B&M Bargain’s decision to shutter their store at the end of January next year.
The discount retailer, who last year pledged to stay open in the town despite opening in nearby Straiton Retail Park, has said the decision was the result of ‘failing to reach an agreement’ with their landlord. It is understood that the unit’s lease is set to renew in January 2019, giving the retailer an opportunity to exit or for the landlord to renegotiate their terms.
The closure of B&M Bargains will see Penicuik’s largest retail unit, within the ailing town centre, fall into vacancy. The unit, which was originally home to Safeway followed by Somerfield and then B&M, is the largest and most prominent within Penicuik’s ‘Shopping Centre’, fronting the main vehicular thoroughfare through the town. The news will mean that all of Penicuik’s largest retail units (excluding those occupied by Tesco and Lidl) will be empty.
A spokesperson for B&M, said:
Unfortunately we haven’t been able to meet an agreement with the landlord so will have to close our Penicuik store in the New Year.
Our colleagues are aware and we’re working with them to find jobs in other nearby stores.
We want to thank customers for shopping with us over the years and hope to see them in our other stores in the near future.
The move to close their Penicuik store was first questioned in February 2017, when the retailer announced plans to open in Straiton Retail Park. At the time, Midlothian Council said that should the new opening result in the closure of either their Penicuik or Dalkieth stores, the move would “adversely affect the viability and vitality” of their town centres. Having reassured the council that there were “no plans” to close their nearby local stores, permission was given to open at Straiton and B&M Bargains is now open in the retail park.
Owners of Penicuik’s Shopping Centre, London based asset management firm Evolve Estates, will now face tough questions over the future of the Town Centre and whether is can be made sustainable in its current state. The owner’s letting agent LCP Properties has struggled to secure new retailers since the purchase several years ago. It is understood that the owners may have started planning for a more significant overhaul of the town centre to reduce the reliance on retail units, many of which are vacant.
Without the anchor store in Penicuik’s Town Centre, other local retailers will now fear a much unneeded reduction in footfall.
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