South West discount retailer, Trago Mills, opened its brand new £65million mega store in Merthyr Tydfil last on Saturday.
The store, which opened on April 21, is Trago’s first-ever Welsh location and its first site outside Cornwall and Devon. The company invested more than £65million in the new outlet, which took 18 months to build and comprises 30,250sq m building, with warehousing, support services and administrative offices, together with internal roads and car parking.
It will offer over 200,000 products across 38 departments, with 20% of turnover expected to be generated by DIY, as with Trago’s other three stores.
The Brickworks, Trago’s café and coffee bar, together with a takeaway, is also set to open at the Welsh store, which is adjacent to the Cyfarthfa Retail Park on the A470 Swansea Road.
The launch of the new mega store follows the opening of Trago’s £3.5million build centre at its Newton Abbott site last August.
Located in the Piazza in front of the store’s main entrance, are 11 units for independent retailers, which will see a number of local businesses, including small food outlets, bakeries and a hairdresser, set up shop.
The official opening at 9am was carried out by Trago chairman and owner, Bruce Robertson, together with former Wales Rugby International, Jonathan Davies OBE. The opening was also attended by the Board of Directors of Trago Mills, His Worship the Mayor Councillor Kevin Gibbs of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil, and Councillor Kevin O’Neill, Leader of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil.
A total of 12,000 visitors came to the store on the opening day, with some customers having queued from the early hours of the morning. The same volume of shoppers came through the doors on Sunday April 22 and, again, on Monday, April 23.
Many suppliers attended the opening and were on site to talk to customers about their products, including Gorilla Glue, SIP International, Evolution Power Tools, PPG Paints and Shurtape.
Trago, an independent, family-run business, has been at the vanguard of discount retailing for over 50 years. Chairman Bruce Robertson said: “I am delighted that the store has finally opened, as I sometimes have to slap myself to remember that it was as long ago as 1990 when Trago received its original planning approval for a retail store in Pentrebach, and from where the development was subsequently transferred to Swansea Road.
“Back then there was no Cyfarthfa Retail Park, so it is fortuitous that there will now be the irresistible combination of that - Cyfarthfa, plus Trago’s unique value proposition within a stone’s throw of the town centre, an inclusive and complementary shopping offer that will doubtless attract custom from far and wide. It has been a long haul, but better late than never!”
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Leader, Councillor Kevin O’Neill added: “The local authority is thrilled to see Trago open after many years’ anticipation – not just because it’s a fantastic addition to Merthyr Tydfil’s shopping offer but also because it’s another landmark in the overall regeneration of the county borough. The Council was pleased to be able to support Trago through our Economic Growth Partnership – the recruitment solution led by Jobcentreplus and partners resulted in local jobs for local people.”
Trago is already planning to develop the site further, by adding a petrol filling station that will be Shell branded but run by Trago, and Trago2Wheels - a motorcycle, ped-lec and bicycle dealership. There is also the provision of similar family leisure activities to those already in situ at Trago’s Newton Abbot site and which are hugely popular with locals and those from further afield. This second phase of work will provide further jobs for locals.
Bruce Robertson said: “The 46 acre retail store site represents Phase 1 of a greater long term project - leisure and fuel comprising Phase 2 for completion before Spring 2020. I believe this will make a significant contribution to the local economy, and if our forecasts are proven accurate, the company will seek to bring forward further development within its substantial holdings in Phases 3 and 4, again creating many additional new jobs and further enhancing Merthyr’s rapidly evolving attraction factor. We are most grateful for the expressions of support received from throughout the community, and indeed, without them none of this could have been possible”.