RUMOUR and speculation were rife this week that Britain’s fastest growing retailer B&M is set to snap up a prime out-of-town site from struggling Homebase.

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The national budget powerhouse whose nearest local presence is a newly-opened store in Lowestoft has benefited from the recession growing from 20 to almost 300 stores in seven years.

Adding a branch in Great Yarmouth would extend its march across East Anglia, just as the retailer has reportedly been put up for sale for £850m.

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman said he had turned detective to unearth a series of clues which all pointed to B&M moving into Homebase in Pasteur Road or possibly the Bennetts site next to Matalan.

He said: “It just fits. Someone suggested they were going in the Co-op but I think I would know about it.

“They have started advertising for staff at the Jobcentres and for a deputy manager and manager at Lowestoft, possibly because those existing staff will open the new Yarmouth store.

“They already have around 300 stores so are spreading their tentacles and reaching East Anglia quite late.”

Meanwhile, in a week of good news/bad news announcements that saw sports chain JJB go into administration, he was able to confirm, contrary to whispers locally, that River Island was staying in the town and had renewed its lease.

“Any town centre is dependent on its fashion offer,” he said.

“It is the quality of that that draws people in, which is why Gapton Hall has always been a concern.

“The worry about M&Co going and becoming a bank is that we are losing a substantial unit that now won’t be available if another fashion chain is looking to come here. That is the size of shop we want.”

On the plus side however, Mr Newman understood a new retailer would be moving into Dorothy Perkins in Market Gates and that plenty of people had been in and out of the former Peacock’s store - fuelling hopes the units would be filled before Christmas in time for the peak festive shopping season and January sales.

10 comments

  • This is a fantastically funny piece, just shows how bad the EDP is at investigative journalism. My brother work for the Great Yarmouth Homebase, and I can confirm B&M is coming into the store. They've known B&M has been coming into the store for months, and have been freely telling customer this. All 'detective' Jonathan Newman or 'Journalist' Liz Coates had to do was walk into the store (or ring them if they could be bothered) and ask any member of staff and it would have been confirmed. Mystery solved!

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    TSR

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • B&M are not moving to the Homebase site...its a distribution storage company that are taking that building on....honestly, a half decent journalist would have been able to find this out...I suppose that may be the problem...

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    merrydancer

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • I agree with lynda most of the shops in this town are closing up and nothing doing with them for years like the co op GYB Council are so greed putting up rents on shops and car parks and the money is wasted on like doing the town hall up and digging the same road up. Lowestoft is great for shopping and the car park change are not so high not like yarmouth. Get rid of the town centre manager and the useless council and bring in new blood to this town and make yarmouth how it use to be...

    Report this comment

    Jay Gonsalves

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • But B&M are coming to Yarmouth as they are advertising for a store manager for Great Yarmouth. It will be either the Homebase site or next to Matalan so i have heard.

    Report this comment

    pa012d9924

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Another Budget store for Great Yarmouth.,Yipeeee. its all Yarmouth consists of now. well that and tattoo parlours.

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

  • Look out. Newman is now trying to justify his salary and position. As for him saying "Someone suggested they were going in the Co-op but I think I would know about it." is such arrogance. Why would they want to tell him anyway ?. He is just another useless council jobsworth anyway.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • Yarmouth is appaling now with many shops empty, everywhere looking dirty and unkept, we use to shop there every week but now go to Lowestoft. Beccles seems to have everything now too, why can't Yarmouth get their act together? Think the car park charges are also too much, Lowestoft at least gives the disabled a reduction. So, don't think it matters who goes into the Homebase store, a lot more needs to be done to encourage people back to Yarmouth.

    Report this comment

    Lynda

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • I heard that it's going to be a charity shop distribution centre that will supply all the other charity shops in the town centre......

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • Actually Mr. Newman does a wonderful job and really helps the town and local businesses.

    Report this comment

    Rowan Woollard-Kingston

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • What a mystery!

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

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