Poundland finally confirms closure of High Street store
- Credit: Archant
Cut price retailer Poundland has said shoppers “won’t be disappointed” after pulling down the shutters on its branch in Huntingdon High Street.
It expects customers to carry on using its original outlet next to Sainsbury's.
Poundland has been selling off remaining goods at the shop opposite Market Hill, which used to be a 99p Stores property it acquired when it bought the rival chain less than five years ago.
The closure will leave one of Huntingdon's biggest town centre shops, a former Woolworths store, empty.
It took Poundland more than a fortnight to confirm to the Hunts Post that the outlet was closing, by which time stock being sold off at sale prices, had nearly all gone.
The firm said: "We already have another store round the corner on St Germain Walk in Huntingdon and it makes sense to focus on one location.
"So while we're saying goodbye to 111 High Street, shoppers won't be disappointed."
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Poundland had earlier vowed to keep both locations open after acquiring the 99p Stores chain, saying both outlets were "very popular" with customers.
After relaunching the High Street shop as a Poundland in 2016 it told the Hunts Post: "Poundland will be keeping both sites operating which are situated in St Germain Walk, Huntingdon, and High Street, Huntingdon."
The firm did not give any indication as to why it had undergone a change of heart.
Poundland ran into financial issues after taking over 99p Stores and there have also been upheavals at its South African parent Steinhoff.
The store which is closing occupies a key position in the High Street, overlooking the market square. The large size of the shop may count against it in the tough present marketing conditions.
Poundland sold its range of clothing in a separate area at the rear of the High Street outlet but the St Germain Walk shop would not be big enough to carry the same amount of stock.
Sue Wing, manager of Huntingdon's Business Improvement District (BID), said she preferred to remain optimistic about the future of the shop.
"There are a lot of rumours going on and it is being said that there is already somebody interested in it," she said. "You just have to be optimistic."
Mrs Wing said the town had been fortunate in that not many shops were vacant and places like the old post office, which had been empty for decades, had opened as a Wetherspoon pub and that the former Argos shop in the High Street had recently opened as the Olmo Lounge bar and restaurant.
She said the St Benedicts Court shopping area, which needed an upgrade, remained a challenge.