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Closure rumours put future of Bishop’s Stortford Poundland store in doubt

The future of Bishop’s Stortford’s Poundland store, which opened just six months ago, is uncertain this week.

Staff are telling customers that the Jackson Square shop will shut within weeks.

The precinct is owned by Legal & General. A spokeswoman for the landlord and the centre management said: “We continue to prioritise the redevelopment of the shopping centre and are engaged in discussions with various stores as we collaborate and shape the future of Jackson Square.

Poundland in the old Wilko in Jackson Square
Poundland in the old Wilko in Jackson Square

“Our primary objectives remain centred on providing support to our retailers.”

The Indie has contacted Poundland for comment but has not yet received a response.

After Wilko went bust last year, putting 400 branches in jeopardy, Poundland was one of the discount rivals eager to expand.

Major building work underway at Jackson Square to prepare for the arrival of TK Maxx
Major building work underway at Jackson Square to prepare for the arrival of TK Maxx

Parent company Pepco Group – which has more than 4,000 stores in 21 territories including the UK, Ireland, Spain and across central and eastern Europe with 43,000 employees – struck a deal for up to 71 stores including Bishop’s Stortford.

Poundland, which opened its first shop in Burton-upon-Trent in 1990, now has more than 800 outlets across the UK and Ireland employing around 18,000 workers.

However, recently the discount chain has closed outlets in Alfreton, Derbyshire; Galashiels in the Scottish Borders; Eccles in Salford; Jarrow, South Tyneside; and Sailmakers Shopping Centre, Ipswich.

Poundland has occupied the former Wilko unit in Jackson Square since October 21. When it opened, two weeks after Wilko shut after 26 years in town, it took on a number of existing staff.

The brand, which sells food and drink, health and beauty, household, gardening, DIY, pet, stationery, books, DVDs and toys, previously operated in Stortford from premises in South Street.

It followed 99p Stores as the occupant of the former Sainsbury’s store in the mid-2010s before B&M opened in February 2018.

Jackson Square is currently undergoing a major redevelopment to accommodate a new 20,000 sq ft TK Maxx store and other units, expected to be ready by spring 2025.

Mamdani Opticians, Photosound and F. Hinds jewellers have all been relocated within the shopping centre while the work progresses but Sports Direct left a year ago when the project began.

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