Plans unveiled to open brand new bargain superstore at former Toys 'R' Us site in Northampton retail park

Planning papers say 100 jobs could be created if the proposals are approved
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Plans have been unveiled to open a brand new Home Bargains store at a vacant retail unit in Northampton - creating up to 100 jobs.

Proposals have been submitted to West Northamptonshire Council to refurbish the former Toys 'R' Us store in St James Retail Park, in Towcester Road, into the bargain superstore.

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Toys 'R' Us closed the once popular site down in 2018 after the company went bust. The store has been vacant ever since.

The former Toys 'R' Us store could be coverted into a Home BargainsThe former Toys 'R' Us store could be coverted into a Home Bargains
The former Toys 'R' Us store could be coverted into a Home Bargains

Planning papers say: "The proposed store (Home Bargains) when opened would generate up to 100 full and part time job opportunities. The majority of these job opportunities will be available to local people and will be across a range of scales.

"The proposal will ensure the long-term occupation of vacant floorspace, which will lead to job creation and increased consumer choice to the benefit of the consumer. These wider positive impacts associated with the proposal far outweigh any perceived adverse impacts."

There is a Home Bargains in Northampton already, which is situated in St Peters Way Retail Park. It is not known whether these new plans will affect the current site.

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Home Bargains' principal range includes health and beauty products, medicines, baby products, household products, toys and games, pet food, home furnishings and ornaments, seasonal products, ancillary food and drink products and a limited clothing range.

The company did look at other sites in the town to move into including the former Sainsbury's store in Princes Walk in the Grosvenor Centre as well as the former BHS store in Abington Street but decided not to pursue these options.

The company said the Sainsbury's site, although nearly perfect for floorspace, was not “suitable for the nature of retailer” due to the need for trolleys and easy access to car parking, which would be via lifts and escalators in the Grosvenor Centre.

The BHS site is also going to be converted into flats by West Northamptonshire Council, so Home Bargains decided against submitting an application to move in there.

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The St James Retail Park is currently home to The Range, DFS, McDonalds and HomeSense, which all share the existing customer car park that can accommodate 588 vehicles.

"Given the nature and scale of the proposed development, there is no opportunity within or at the edge of the town centre that is available that could accommodate large-format retailing of the nature proposed," a Home Bargains spokesman said.

Home Bargains has grown to become one of the biggest privately-owned companies in the UK and currently employs over 25,000 members of staff.

The company is also one of the United Kingdom’s fastest growing discount retailers with more than 575 stores throughout the UK and plans to expand to over 1,200 stores employing over 40,000 staff.

Home Bargains was founded in 1976 by Tom Morris in Liverpool as Home and Bargain. It is the trading name of TJ Morris Ltd, stocking up to 4,000 branded product lines.