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H&M moving into old Woolies store in Southend High Street
2:00pm Friday 6th July 2012 in Local News
A CLOTHING giant will be moving into the empty TJ Hughes store in Southend’s High Street, it has been revealed.
Bosses at H&M confirmed they will take over the large corner store in November, after a major refurbishment, taking the number of H&M stores in the town to three.
A spokeswoman for H&M confirmed there were no plans to close the other two branches, one towards the top of the High Street and the other in the Royals Shopping Centre.
She was unable to confirm how many jobs are likely to be created by the new shop.
Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: “This new store is going into such an important and prominent site, it will definitely enhance the high street. Of course, anything that creates employment in the town is very good news indeed.”
The building was home to Woolworths, until the company went into administration in December 2008. It finally closed in January 2009 and discount retailer TJ Hughes moved into the building in August 2010, after a £1million refurbishment.
However, TJ Hughes went into administration and shut up shop, in August last year.
Despite the tough retail conditions, H&M has enjoyed an increase in its profits for the first half of the year and aims to increase the number of stores it has by 10 to 15 per cent.
H&M is known for up-to-the-minute fashion at affordable prices and has links with celebrity designers, including Madonna, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Jimmy Choo.
Anita Thornberry, head of enterprise at the council, said: “We’re delighted such a big, iconic building in the High Street is being reused. It’s a show of confidence for Southend.”
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