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B&Q-Morrisons store share plans submitted in Wigan

PLANS for a pioneering store share scheme between two retail giants will be submitted to borough planners within weeks.

B&Q store chiefs say that proposals for Morrisons to move into part of its Frith Street premises were now being finalised and should be the subject of a public exhibition next month.

Under the plan, more than a third of the existing B&Q Warehouse building will be hived off and leased to Morrisons for a food store in what is an historic partnership deal.

Approaching 300 jobs will be created.

It finally confirming speculation first mentioned in the Wigan Evening Post six months ago,

Critically the venture, a plan for which is expected to be submitted within weeks, won’t involve the closure of any other stores nearby.

The plan is for a Morrison’s food hall to open up within the re-ordered B&Q which is currently occupying a massive 100,000ft sq of space. The DIY giant would then take up 60 per cent of the space and Morrison’s 40.

However B&Q insists such a move would not involve a reduction in its vast stock, simply more efficient use of available space.

Planting a large Morrison’s, which already has a presence at both Ince and in Wigan town centre, is bound to throw down the gauntlet to the nearby Asda superstore and an unopposed planning application looks increasingly unlikely.

A spokesman for Morrisons said that the scheme was “moving forward” with the strong support from both retail parties.

He added: “Our new store will create new local job opportunities, with real career and training prospects. We believe our unique offer of high quality, fresh food at great prices is what makes us stand out against our competitors.”

West Divisional Director with B&Q Scott Sharp said: “We want to offer our Wigan customers the best that we can in home improvement and the new size store will include new features and services that will not only inspire customers but will also help them to undertake their home improvement projects.

“This deal will enable us to continue to serve our Wigan customers to the highest possible standard and we are committed to working with Morrisons to enhance the whole shopping experience on the site.”

Source : Wigan Today

20 September 2013
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