Following the opening of five new stores last month, discount chain B&M has also officially re-opened its Wallsend store in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne after work to expand the site and create “a bigger, better store” has now been completed.
The B&M Bargains store on Wiltshire Drive, which the retailer says “welcomes a huge amount of local shoppers every day”, closed its doors on May 27 for work to begin the work; re-opening to the public on Saturday, June 1.
The planning proposal put forward by B&M saw the retailer take over a now-vacant adjacent unit, which it previously shared with Aldi. By joining the building with its current site, B&M has grown the floorspace of its Wallsend store by approximately 661sq m; almost doubling the size of the outlet.
The larger footprint has allowed the store to increase its offer across all departments, with more branded pet products, toys, home accessories, and an extensive DIY, decorating and furniture range. The branch has also hired an additional 25 employees to boost its original 45-strong workforce.
However, planning permission to create an enclosed garden centre on the site, selling plants, growing media and decorative aggregates, was refused by North Tyneside Council. The garden centre structure, which would have included razor wire fencing and meant the removal of car parking spaces and soft landscaping, including a tree and hedging, was refused by the planning officer on the grounds that the “proposal would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area and therefore does not comprise sustainable development.”
B&M was invited to re-submit amendments but chose not to do so at the time, meaning the development went ahead without the addition of a garden centre on site. However, it appears the plans have been re-submitted for approval and are pending a decision by planning officials.
The store manager, Colin McKee, said: “Our new colleagues have been working really hard to get the store ready for opening day, we can’t wait to get the doors open on Saturday and show customers their brand new B&M.”
He added: “The new store has been really busy all weekend and feedback from customers has been great so far.
The newly-expanded Wallsend store follows a raft of new B&M openings last month, as B&M ploughs ahead with its target of 50 new stores by the end of the financial year. In May alone the retailer opened a new outlet, complete with garden centre, in Lincoln, and has new branches now trading in Lyndsey, Newcastle, and Whitby, plus the re-opening of is Runcorn store, which had relocated to a larger unit on Trident Retail Park.