Liberty Shopping Centre 'in talks' with tenants to takeover from Romford's BHS
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 August 2016
Shoppers have been making the most of closing down sales as the town's BHS store prepares to close its doors for the final time.
The store in the Liberty Shopping Centre will close on Sunday after administrator Duff & Phelps revealed the final shop closures earlier this month.
It is one the final seven London stores to close in the UK as the retailer brings down the curtain on its 88 years of trading.
With the closure set to leave a vacant space in one of the town’s major shopping centres, the Recorder went out on the streets to find out what shoppers thought and what they would like to see in the future.
Romford shopper Linda Taylor said: “It would be nice to see a big shopping store come to Romford.
“It seems like more and more people round here are prepared to drive to Lakeside to go shopping now.”
Mark Phillips, 42, of Chatteris Avenue, Harold Hill, said: “I feel very sorry for the staff who will lose their jobs - they have been let down by Phillip Green.
“It would be nice to see John Lewis or another big chain take its place.”
Carol Boardman, of Belgrave Avenue, Gidea Park, said: “It’s incredibly sad to see it go.
“It feels like lots of shops have gone out of business in the town and charity shops or 99p stores take their place.
“Shopping in Romford is not what it used to be.”
Despite shoppers’ hopes for a John Lewis store coming into town, a spokesman for the company confirmed there were no current plans to open in Romford.
But the shopping centre’s manager has been quick to alleviate shoppers fears and has confirmed the Liberty is already in talks with possible tenants to takeover.
Jonathan Poole said: “We are extremely sad to see BHS leaving the centre on Sunday, especially since it marks the departure of an iconic and well-loved store from the national high street after 88 years of trading.
“Here at The Liberty we work hard to ensure we attract new and exciting shops to the centre and provide the best experience for our customers.
“For example, we were recently the first centre or high street in the region to welcome a New Look Men store.
“The BHS unit, after Sunday, will of course represent an exciting opportunity for a new store and for local shoppers and we are currently advertising and in talks with potential new tenants.”