Argos seeking alternative location in Strabane

Argos seeking alternative location in Strabane
Ciara Maguire

Reporter:

Ciara Maguire

Email:

ciara.maguire@strabaneweekly.co.uk

ARGOS has confirmed it is seeking an alternative location in the town for its Strabane store.

The company was speaking out in response to speculation that the store could close this summer due to the impact of plans by supermarket giants, Lidl, to relocate to the site.

The German retailer was granted planning permission last year for a new supermarket at Strabane Shopping Centre..

This will see the demolition of the existing buildings to facilitate the new supermarket and a retail unit at the Branch Road location, which Lidl bought for an undisclosed sum in 2018, as well as the neighbouring car sales area and showroom.

Built in 2006, the 3.7 acre retail park site currently has four units which are occupied by Argos, New Look, Peacocks and Menarys.

Lidl says the £8.5 million investment will see the creation of ten new jobs in addition to the 19 already supported at its current location at Bradley Way.

The current tenants have been urged to make their long-term plans for their Strabane outlets known, but despite being contacted by the Strabane Weekly News, only Argos responded.

The high street retailer says it is actively seeking a new premise in the town.

“Our landlord has been granted planning permission for proposals that impact our Strabane Argos store," a spokesperson said.

"We are doing everything we can to secure an alternative location for the store, so that we can continue to serve the area.

"We’ll keep everyone updated.”

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP., Órfhlaith Begley, has welcomed confirmation that an alternative location is being sought.

The local MP had written to Sainsburys Argos and other companies located at the site to raise concerns of workers and the local community alike about their future intentions.

“We now welcome the response received from Sainsburys Argos senior communications manager, Duncan Kennedy, stating that they are now doing everything they can to secure an alternative location for the store, so that they can continue to serve the area," Ms Begley said.

“I am still engaging with the other companies currently located at the Retail Park as to their future intentions and would urge them to provide the same clarity as to their intentions.

“The company has committed to providing a further progress update as soon as possible which hopefully will provide some much needed certainty for the Argos workforce and the local community."

West Tyrone election candidate, Maolíosa McHugh, added: "We have been receiving multiple representations and expressions of concern about the future of Argos and other store at the Retail Park.

“This news that they are actively seeking an alternative location locally is re-assuring and hopefully will soon come to fruition. Hopefully the other retail outlets can now provide similar clarification."

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