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Approval sought to open a Next Home branch on the Isle of Man

A homeware store run by retail giant Next could open in Spring Valley Industrial Estate, in Douglas.

The site’s owner, Isle of Man Development Company, was granted approval in principle on appeal last year to demolish unit six on the estate, and build two retail units.

The approval was granted with a condition the goods sold within the units were ‘primarily’ from a list of bulky items, such as building, decorating and home-improvement items and furniture.

Now agents acting on behalf of Next plc have applied for a certificate of lawful use or development to confirm the type of goods it could sell from part of the approved site.

In its submission to the government planning committee Roger Tym & Partners, acting on behalf of Next plc, said: ‘It is proposed that unit one will be operated by Next Home with 16.4 per cent of the gross floor area (25 per cent net) to be attributed to the sales of childrenswear.

‘The remainder of goods to be sold will be primarily bulky in nature.’

While it could be good news on the jobs front, the creation of an out-of-town store may cause concern for other retailers already established.

The Next Home range includes furniture, electrical items and home furnishings.

In the application (11/01594/LAW) it states Next Plc is a ‘potential purchaser’ of the site but it confirms there would be no impact on the Next store in Strand Street Douglas: ‘Next do not intend to relocate or cease to trade from their existing town centre store in Douglas.

‘The provision of the store in this location simply offers an additional facility for Isle of Man residents, that are typical of most towns.’

It continues: ‘Given Next’s experience of operating in this format elsewhere, it is anticipated that the two stores will both operate successfully in parallel and the proposed element of children’s goods would have no material impact upon the vitality and viability of the town centre.’

The Isle of Man Examiner contacted Next Plc to ask how soon the store could open, how many jobs would be created, how much Next was investing in the store as well as whether Next delivered bulky items by post to the island.

We were waiting to receive a response as we went to press on Monday.

Meanwhile, a company which is part of the Poundland group could be moving into the former Woolworth’s building on Strand Street.

Dealz Ltd has applied for planning content to erect new signs over the shopfront (11/01522/D) of the building which is owned by Habro Properties.

Poundland said it was too early to comment on whether it would be opening at Dealz store in Douglas.
Tim McDonnell, Poundland’s retail operations director, said: ‘We have opened 37 Poundland stores this year. We are currently considering the acquisition of new Dealz stores, to add to the two stores opened in the Republic of Ireland this year.

‘The stringent acquisition process ensures that new stores are sited in the right location and fit the brand’s customer profile.

‘Due to the popularity of Dealz’s product ranges, the organisation is keen not to raise anticipation for a new store before plans are finalised. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for us to disclose further information at this stage.’

Source : Isle of Man Today
www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/next_s_furniture_shop_1_4014682

30 November 2011
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Max Crosby Browne - CEO, Home Decor
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