‘It’s a waste of time to have two of the same shop’

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SHOPPERS have told of their disappointment after a discount store was revealed as the new flagship for a shopping centre.

Fareham Shopping Centre has announced discount retailer B&M has signed a 10-year lease for the former BHS unit at the shopping centre.

But shoppers are unhappy with the decision after many said they wanted a Primark store.

And concerns were expressed over the fact B&M already has a store in nearby Newgate Lane.

Ria Jordan said: ‘Gosport and Fareham are crying out for some decent shops but all we get are five-minute wonders, pound shops and card shops.

‘We need clothes shops, sports shops and baby shops.

Ria, from Gosport, added: ‘A Primark would be a much better fit for the old BHS store.’

She added: ‘It’s a waste of time having two of the same shop in such close proximity.’

Leanne Lambert added: ‘I heard whispers that there was possibly going to be a Primark store and I thought this was amazing as the nearest in Portsmouth so to have one closer would have been fab.

‘When I saw that B&M is getting it instead I was disappointed as there is already quite a big store in Fareham.’

The move will create more than 40 new jobs for people and customers can expect to find a variety of branded products including toys, food and drink, pet ranges, health & beauty and home wares.

Chris Beckerman, managing director of shopping centre owner Roubaix Group, said: ‘Bringing B&M to Fareham is fantastic and, alongside our other work to secure new occupiers, we’re seeing the results of all of our hard work.

‘We’re delighted to bring in a fresh, new brand like B&M.’

A B&M spokeswoman said: ‘We’re feeling positive about the creation of even more jobs for local people and we hope customers are going to be delighted with their new store.’

The unit was one of 164 BHS stores nationwide affected by the company’s collapse into administration.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward, said: ‘I am very pleased that B&M is to open a store in Fareham Shopping Centre.

‘The loss of BHS was keenly felt by shoppers and I know that B&M will provide a very positive lift to that end of the shopping centre plus the bonus of dozens of new jobs for Fareham people.’