Home Outlet store Split Opinion on Original Factory Shop in Fishguard High Street

Split Opinion on Original Factory Shop in Fishguard High Street

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It will open in just under two weeks and opinions are divided as to whether the new Pembrokeshire branch of The Original Factory Shop (TOFS) will be a blessing or a curse for its host town.

The new store will be located at 8 High Street and will offer customers a range of low-priced clothing, pet products, electrical appliances, household items, a party shop and reservation and collection service.

However, not everyone is happy with the imminent arrival of the store.

Local Paul Padget has his reservations.

“TOFS sells many things that we buy from local stores like Card Cabin, Better Buys and Nichols,” he said.

“These are hugely popular local shops, used by residents of Fishguard and Goodwick and visitors from the twin towns.

“These are also the sort of independent stores that make a town center interesting and more likely to attract shoppers, as seems clear at Newcastle Emlyn and Narberth.

“What we need is more stores of this type rather than chain stores which are basically the same everywhere.”

Mr Padget added that if the former Peacocks store became a shoe and clothing outlet, it would, in his view, benefit the Twin Cities. However, he fears that if they offer what is already available in the twin towns but at a lower price, it could prove detrimental.

“The last thing Fishguard and Goodwick need is great local shops driven out of business,” he said. “The end result could be one less empty store (Peacocks) but several existing stores are emptying and therefore less choice and less interesting places to shop.”

However, not everyone thinks the store’s arrival is a bad thing. Jeremy Martineau, secretary of the city’s chamber of commerce and tourism, said he personally thinks it’s a positive step.

Speaking personally and not as a chamber representative, he said it was good that such a large empty store was filled and he hoped it would add to the city’s supply.

“There is sustained interest in more empty stores which is a good sign that confidence is returning,” he said.

“The Original Factory Shop is a successful business in many other places, and we hope it will add to the range of products already available in Fishguard.

“We’re going to ask the company to focus on product lines that aren’t already stocked in the city; this way it will be welcome and also bring benefits to our local economy by employing a number of local people and increasing footfall which will benefit other businesses.

What do you think? Add your views in the comments below.