Bargain shop Poundland to expand in "affluent" Cheltenham
BARGAIN store Poundland is to nearly triple its size in "affluent" Cheltenham.
The cut-price shop plans to extend its current Lower High Street site into the next-door former Peacocks shop.
The massive new store is opposite the £20 million redevelopment of The Brewery, which includes new shops, 34 flats, a 104-bed hotel and extending the pedestrian area.
It will mean big name upmarket stores are just a stone's throw from the pound store, which pledges "amazing value every day".
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Cheltenham Town Centre manager Martin Quantock said the mix of shops would be a success story.
"Cheltenham is so popular as it caters for the broadest market," he said.
"Everything has it's place – from the top end shops such as LK Bennett on The Prom to the mid-range stores of M&S and WH Smith, and then the bargain shops, and, very importantly, the independent traders. It's debatable whether people would come to Cheltenham to go to the Poundland shop – but you've got to remember there are also 55,000 homes and 120,000 people living here and you've got to have the shops to cater for them.
"Poundland will have done its homework and studied the catchment to make a business decision to invest its money into Cheltenham. It's not been done on a whim, but on hard facts that it will pay them back.
"I know Poundland is a very busy shop, it's packed every time I walk by."
Mr Quantock also felt Poundland had an eye on cashing-in on The Brewery's new-look.
He said: "When The Brewery knocks through to the High Street and Boots' corner gets the traffic taken out of it that will regenerate that part of the town."
Penny-saving customers can browse more than 3,000 products including food and drink, health and beauty, household, gardening, DIY, pet, stationery, toys and some 1,000 top brands at Poundland.
The shop already rubs shoulders with fellow bargain businesses including newly-opened cafe Bon Appetit 99, which sells meals for just 99p. Nearby Celly's hair salon also offers treatments for only £9.
Cheltenham Development Task Force managing director Jeremy Williamson said the town was big enough for both Poundland and The Brewery.
"We should applaud their success," he said. "Shops can mix together and as long as Cheltenham can continue to attract solid retailers that's the key. I'd much rather have a unit let, especially taken on as a trading one, than standing idle and we should welcome the vibrancy it brings."
A Poundland spokesman dispelled the myth it did not focus on more upmarket locations.
She said: "We've been opening in lots of areas that are considered affluent. Poundland serves over four million customers every week." The shop has planning consent to put new corporate signs across the frontage and amalgamate numbers 232 to 234 with 236 to 240 Lower High Street.