Are Wilko and Waitrose opening stores in Hastings? Here’s the shops you’d like to see

Rumours of Wilko and Waitrose opening stores in Hastings have been common for some time.

It seems that every time a large vacant unit becomes available, word spreads that a major chain has its eye on it.

Most recently, it was suggested the former Peacocks store in Queens Road could be the site for a new Wilko or Waitrose.

Many readers shared their hopes that this was true on our Facebook page.

The old Peacocks building in Queens Road, Hastings SUS-210715-135504001

The Observer contacted the stores this week to see if they had plans to open in Hastings.

Unfortunately, the news was not good for shoppers.

A Wilko spokesman said: “At the moment we’ve no plans to open a wilko store in Hastings.  Customers can shop with wilko at the nearby Eastbourne stores or online at”

Waitrose also confirmed it had no plans for the site.

Wilko at Sovereign Harbour Retail Park, The Crumbles, Eastbourne

We asked you what you would like to see in the empty site.

Our Facebook friends replied.

TGI’s, Harvester, Home Bargains, The Range, Farm Foods, Footlocker and a Nike store were among suggestions.

Emma Hepburn said: “I personally don’t feel Waitrose is right for this particular location, whilst I’m sure there are many that are lucky enough to shop in Waitrose, I also know there’s a huge demographic of people in the locality that certainly wouldn’t!”  

Waitrose in Eastbourne. Photo by Jon Rigby

Rosslyn Chisholm: “Just turn it into in affordable housing better than being empty for the next 5 years.”

Nicholas Robus added: “How about supporting local family-owned businesses rather than large chains that take money out of the town?”  

Betty Betts said:  “I thought it was going to house a number of different stores. I wish Woolworths would come back. I think Iceland needs a bigger shop as it’s hard to maneuver with a pram or disabled scooter around the existing one. A John Lewis shop would be good too.”  

Dawn Ann Langan asked “How about some decent clothes shops? Nothing left apart from Primark.”

However, John Griffin said: “Why would any of the major stores want to open in the town centre? Parking is too expensive, so why would you pay to park when you can shop at the out of town stores?” 

What would you like to see move into this empty store?