Home Outlet store Shop owners want B&M or Home Bargains to open in Dorset shopping center

Shop owners want B&M or Home Bargains to open in Dorset shopping center

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Business owners at a shopping complex in Dorset city center fear they may have to move following a drop in footfall after Wilko closed its outlet there earlier this month.

The Richmond Gardens shopping center in Bournemouth is home to several independent retailers as well as Lidl, with some owners fearing a reduction in the number of customers after the major chain closed earlier this month.

Samuel Baker, owner of Samuel James Jewellers, said: “If my profits are affected, it ultimately means either I’m not making as much profit or I’m having trouble paying the shop bills, so I don’t I don’t have a choice.

Read more: Bournemouth Wilko closes to buyers’ disappointment

“It’s either that or I go bankrupt. I might have to move entirely online, which would be great for me because I know that when I sell online, I earn three times the price compared to selling in-store.

“But I want to stay in the shop because I like it. I love talking to people and seeing people, and it gives me a reason to get up every morning.

He added: “Hopefully a place like Home Bargains or B&M will move in, not necessarily a restaurant or leisure centre. A chain store would attract a wider variety of shoppers of different ages. »

Selin Sarikoc, co-owner of House of Stitch, said: “The attendance has been much lower since Wilko closed. We have a few months to review our lease and then we will see where we are.

“We may have to move if the situation gets worse – we won’t be able to survive. It’s frightening.”

Mr Sarikoc, alongside his business partner Suna Parmagic, would also like to see another budget store move into Wilko’s former land.

She said having a big chain store next to her business was good for her customers: “They have everything you need. So when people walk into our store, they will go to Wilko, look around and buy something.

Leo Café owner Leandro Spera is optimistic his regular customers will be enough to save his business – but understands the need for a plan B.

Richmond Gardens Shopping Center

He said: “Our customers have given us overwhelming support. But we may need to look to attract more customers through social media or special offers.

“I wish a budget store similar to Wilko would move across the street – it will be great for everyone.”