Hitchin Woolworths to become two discount stores

THE former Woolworths store in Hitchin is set to be split up into two discount shops, nearly two-and-a-half years after it shut.

Clothes shop Peacocks will open this summer on the right hand side of the store, while it could be that discount giants Poundland will occupy the remainder.

Peacocks has already been granted planning permission by North Herts District Council (NHDC), and is scheduled to open in August.

Although Poundland has not put in planning permission to NHDC, plans drawn up by Peacocks show that the premises will be occupied by the chain.

“Peacocks made a planning application for shop front alterations for half of the unit on the former Woolworths site,” said Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC portfolio holder for planning and enterprise.

“The application has been determined and planning permission has been granted.

“The unit has been empty for some time so it is a good sign that retailers are choosing to invest in Hitchin.”

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The news was also welcomed by town centre manager Keith Hoskins.

“I’m pleased to see it’s being worked on. It’s confirmed what we thought, as there had been rumours for a while,” he said.

“It’s good that it’s been let out. If you look at financial figures, the big growth in retail at the moment is in discount stores. People have less disposable income.

“It’s not as if Woolworths was exactly an upmarket store.”

A spokesman from Peacocks confirmed that it would open a store mid-August, but added that the company did not yet know how many jobs would arise from this.

* What do you think about the two stores opening in Hitchin? Let us know by emailing editorial@thecomet.net