DEPARTMENT store TJ Hughes is remaining in Sheffield city centre with a new permanent store to be built in front of the new Moor markets.
The retailer, which is closing its store at the corner of High Street and Arundel Gate on November 24, is opening a temporary store at the old Peacocks branch on The Moor on Wednesday.
The temporary branch will stock clothing and cosmetics because the building is not big enough to sell the full range of stock, but will allow shoppers to stock up with Christmas gifts. The permanent replacement store will be constructed further down The Moor in front of the new markets building, which is under construction.
A TJ Hughes spokesman for said: “Negotiations are ongoing and we are hopeful we will be able to confirm details of a new permanent location in the near future. The company has secured ongoing employment for a large percentage of its workforce at our temporary store and the intention is that they will all transfer over to the new store.
“Once we are in a position to recruit the additional staff required we will welcome applications from all previously employed staff members.”
Shoppers have welcomed the news. Pensioner Margaret Green, from Killamarsh, said: “I think it’s good that TJ Hughes is moving down to near where the markets will be.
“But the current, iconic building, must not be allowed to become an eyesore.”
Shelagh Hardy, 60, a care home worker, from Firth Park, added: “I’m glad TJs is staying in Sheffield. It’s important to have a good department store like this because there’s not many of them any more.”
Sue Anderson, of Dore, added: “I shop at TJ Hughes and people have been worried about what would happen. It’s good news.”
And Sheila Callaghan, of Worrall, who is retired, said: “I’m pleased TJ Hughes is staying in the city centre. It’s very popular.”
Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member responsible for business and development, said: “If the news proves to be concrete then it is fantastic for the city centre.
“The move would demonstrate if the right type of units are available, major retailers will take the opportunity to be in the city centre.”
TJ Hughes is renting the temporary store from The Moor’s landlord Scottish Widows, who would also be the landlord for the new permanent site.
Ranald Phillips, director at Ashcroft, agents for Scottish Widows, said: TJ Hughes will be moving into the retail unit previously occupied by Peacocks, on a temporary basis. This is good news in the run-up to Christmas and will boost the retail offer on The Moor for shoppers.”
He said discussions were ongoing ‘regarding a more permanent tenancy’ although terms have not been agreed.
Mr Ashcroft added: “Work continues on The Moor’s public realm and we hope the public can start to see the positive changes that are taking place.”