A grand plan to breathe life into new store

Grand Arcade manager John Sanson in the former BHS store
Grand Arcade manager John Sanson in the former BHS store

Wigan’s former BHS shop is set to re-open after two discount stores snapped up the space.

Poundland and fashion retailer Pep&Co have signed up to occupy the large retail unit at the Grand Arcade, which has been empty since the famous department store chain went into liquidation last year.

The two brands are owned by the same parent company, Pepkor UK, and will share the shop under one letting.

John Sanson, centre manager at the Grand Arcade, said he was delighted that the space would be given a new lease of life.

He said: "Since BHS left in 2016, we have been out to the market with the shop. This is a good deal, we are very pleased.

"We hope it will be a good footfall drive as we have suffered since it closed."

He added: "We are pleased to be one of the shopping destinations adopting this convenient and exciting new store concept.

"We look forward to working with them."

The company plan to re-open the external entrance from Crompton Street, which will allow for greater customer traffic with two entrances.

Mr Sanson added: "The addition of the discount store will continue to enhance the dynamic mix of variety and family shopping at Grand Arcade.

"In one visit, shoppers can enjoy great value on home, garden and food as well as top fashion."

The premises has now been handed over to Poundland and Pep&Co, but with minimal internal changes needed, the shop could open as early as later this month or early November.

The Wigan branch of the BHS was one of the first 20 in the country to close last summer after the company’s collapse.

Prior to the closure, the town had been home to a BHS for decades, with a previous store having once been located on Standishgate.

It moved into the Grand Arcade when it first opened in 2007.

The firm’s demise was met with anger by Wigan shoppers after a report suggested more could have been done to save one of the town’s major retailers

Former BHS boss Sir Philip Green was branded the "unacceptable face of capitalism" after a Parliamentary inquiry found he had extracted huge sums of money from the collapsed store group, which left its pension fund in a huge deficit.