Co-op to move into former Animal shop in Gloucester
THE former Animal clothes shop in King's Walk shopping centre looks likely to be taken over by the Co-operative after plans were submitted to the city council for new signs.
Although no contracts are yet signed, the plans have given the strongest signal yet the shop is due to be taken on.
The move has been backed by city traders. Ivan Taylor, owner of Truscott jewellers and chairman of The Westgate Association, welcomed the move.
"Whoever takes on the shop must be able to take it on for the long term to add stability," he said.
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"There is a lot of competition for clothes shopping, both online and on the High Street, but people will always visit supermarkets and food stores.
"Iceland and Marks and Spencer are doing well and these kind of stores do offer something different to the precinct. It is important empty shops are taken up and used as quickly as possible. It would be a welcome addition if the Co-op does move in."
The positive calls have been backed by Barry Leach, chair of Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership.
He says the company's ethical values should be applauded and welcomed back into the centre of Gloucester.
"Co-op used to be in Brunswick Street, so in a sense, it is coming home," he said.
"It has been much missed from Gloucester and will offer balance and variety to the centre."
Paul James, leader of the city council, said: "We have had a good run of empty shops being taken on in recent weeks and hopefully that will continue.
"It was a shame to lose Animal, but hopefully the void will be filled by another clothes shop opening up elsewhere in Gloucester."
Paul Chalmers, general manager from the King's Walk Shopping Centre, was unable to comment as formal contracts are yet to be signed off.