Shoppers back Primark to come to Fareham in BHS unit

WE want Primark '“ that's the message from shoppers in Fareham looking for a retailer to fill the site currently occupied by BHS.

Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 6:00 am
Shoppers outside Fareham's BHS store in Osbourne Square Picture: Loughlan Campbell

The discount clothing giant has been suggested as a future occupant for Fareham Shopping Centre after it was announced that department store BHS was going into liquidation after attempts to secure a buyer failed.

Dozens of staff members at the store in Osbourne Square and at the Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth city centre are set to lose their jobs after the announcement.

The stores’ closing dates are unknown, however an idea to bring forward Primark or a John Lewis department store to the vacant retail unit has been put forward by Sean Woodward.

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The executive leader at Fareham Borough Council said: ‘I know people would love to see Primark in there.

‘It of course remains a possibility to be looked at and I think it is the type of retailer that would fit in with the kind of demographic we have here in Fareham.

‘Of course, there have always been desires for a John Lewis but that would be probably more unattainable.’

Brian Barnet, 58, from Hedge End, said: ‘A Primark there will definitely be popular.

‘It would be a great replacement for BHS.’

The nearest Primark for Fareham residents is in Portsmouth. Vanessa Gassan, 34, from Gosport said: ‘It would be great to have one closer.

‘It would be absolute chaos in there as it would be so busy but it’d be good to have one so close instead of going to Portsmouth or Southampton.’

A decision on which retailer will occupy the available unit will be made by centre owners Roubaix Group, who bought the centre last July for £54.5m.

A spokesperson for the group said: ‘We wish everyone involved in BHS and in particular the team at Fareham well and hope the transition can be managed as smoothly as possible.

‘In terms of what is next for the significant unit available to let, we are now actively engaged with others who are interested in coming in and being a part of the centre.

‘We look forward to making further announcements.’

A decision is yet to be made on the future of the BHS site in Portsmouth.