SHINY Christmas gifts took pride of place in the front windows to tempt shoppers as TJ Hughes launched its new store in Sheffield city centre.
The branch has been set up in the former Peacocks on The Moor, on an interim basis, and was busy yesterday morning after the doors opened at 10am
The branch has been set up in the former Peacocks on The Moor, on an interim basis, and was busy yesterday morning after the doors opened at 10am.
TJ Hughes has opened the store to ensure it maintains a presence in the city between the existing High Street site closing later this month and a new permanent branch being built.
The long-term location for the store is set to be a brand new building in front of the Moor Markets.
Among staff welcoming in the customers was Julie Hancock, deputy manager, who had worked at the old store for 34 years since joining as a Christmas worker when it used to be Rackhams.
TJ Hughes took over in 1998.
Julie, one of 37 staff being transferred to run the interim store, said: “I’m sad to be leaving the old building but I’m also very excited about the way forward.
“There wasn’t a massive queue when we opened up but a decent number of people were coming in within a few minutes.
“In this store we are selling menswear, ladieswear, accessories, fragrances and cosmetics.
“Our range of cosmetics has gone quite upmarket - particularly with Christmas in mind - with names like Paco Rabanne and Juicy Couture.”
Julie said that when TJs moves to its permanent store next year, the same variety of merchandise will return as had been stocked at the original branch.
Soon after opening, shoppers were leaving with bulging bags.
Pensioner Sheila Watson, of Arbourthorne, who was shopping with her friend, Linda Pease, left clutching a bag with slippers and socks.
She said: “It’s a shame that TJs is having to leave its old store. There is not as much choice as in the old store but I’m glad it’s staying.”
Rachel Robinson, of Dronfield Woodhouse, a retired publican, said: “The new branch is a very nice store and it looks very clean and bright. The old branch was getting a bit dated. There’s a lot of good Christmas gifts.”
Neighbouring retailers on The Moor were pleased TJs has moved in - and hopeful it will bring customers to the area.
Philip Barton, of homeware store Stone The Crows, said: “I think having TJs down here will bring a few more shoppers which is going to be a boost for a lot of shopkeepers.
“So many stores have closed so to have a well-known name opening is good for The Moor.”
Sandra Barley, liaison manager for The Moor, said: “It’s fabulous news that TJ Hughes have chosen The Moor to open their premises.
“They’ve been a cornerstone of shopping in the city centre and it’s great to see the former Peacocks unit back in business.”