A well-known department store chain has announced it will be returning to the Wellgate.
TJ Hughes left the shopping centre in 2011 after it previously occupied a site on the top floor on Victoria Road.
The Liverpool-based discount store has agreed a 15-year lease to occupy the unit formerly occupied by British Home Stores following its closure in August 2016.
Today’s statement comes on the back of discount gym operator, Xercise4Less, confirming its intention to open on July 31 after investing nearly £1 million in the site.
The imminent arrival of the gym and the announcement of TJ Hughes coming back are being heralded as a “catalyst” to attract further investment in the centre.
Despite clothing store, New Look, confirming earlier this year that it will be closing its doors at the Wellgate, centre manager Peter Aitken said he was delighted to welcome “national giant” TJ Hughes back into the fold.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome TJ Hughes to Wellgate, which we believe will play a pivotal role in the centre’s ongoing development.
“Not only will this national department store reinvigorate the centre but also provide a catalyst for other businesses to invest within the Wellgate.
“The news is especially significant in light of the imminent opening of the Xercise4Less gym – together, these new tenants will enliven both entrances to the centre and generate a significant increase in footfall.”
Savills UK retail and leisure agency team helped to secure the deal and confirmed that TJ Hughes’ arrival will “significantly” improve the profile of the centre.
Stuart Moncur, head of national retail at Savills, said: “Our strategy has been to secure new anchor occupiers.
‘‘With the arrival of both Xercise4Less and TJ Hughes, we certainly believe the Wellgate is on the up.
“TJ Hughes will occupy the former BhS store at the front of the Wellgate and will significantly improve the profile of the centre as well as drive substantial levels of footfall.
“We are excited about the prospects for the centre going forward.
‘‘We also expect to have further new lettings to be announced later on in the year.”