Wilko responds to speculation over Eastbourne stores - Home Bargains, IKEA and John Lewis among reader's suggestions
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The store at Sovereign Harbour shut its doors for good on September 17 this year, followed by the branch in the Beacon which closed on October 5.
Shortly after the closure, the Wilko brand was bought out by The Range, and it was announced that some stores would return to the high street.
Speaking about whether either of the Eastbourne branches would return, a spokesperson for Wilko said: “We are engaging in active conversations with landlords across the country and are working to bring back Wilko to the high street, starting with five concept stores, the first of which will be in Exeter, Plymouth and Luton.
"We’ll be providing updates on further store locations and recommend Wilko shoppers check our social media feeds for the latest news regarding further store openings.”
This newspaper also asked Christina Ewbank, CEO of Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, if there were any plans for new stores to move in – she said she not ‘[did] not have anything to report at this stage’.
We asked Eastbourne Herald readers what they would like to see open in the empty retail spaces in the Beacon and Sovereign Harbour.
Julie Bush, Robert Partridge and Lynda Purnell suggested that Wilko should return to its former stores, while others are hoping for something new – Ikea, Home Bargains, B&M and John Lewis were among the most common answers.
Another common suggestion was somewhere to cater to the youth of Eastbourne. Candice May suggested a soft play area or trampoline park, and said it’s ‘so hard to find something to do for all ages’.
Steve Coppins said: “How [about] kids youth club for all them children that suffer or foster kids to give them more support.”
What would you like to see in the empty stores?