RETAIL giant NEXT will open a huge new store in Burnley in time for Christmas.
Work began this week to transform the former TJ Hughes building in Curzon Street into a new home for the popular high street retail chain, which currently occupies a much smaller store in the Charter Walk Shopping Centre.
The new NEXT store will comprise 12,000sqft. and have a new home department as well as clothing. It will be four times bigger than the current store and operate over two floors when it opens at the end of November.
The relocation is a major boost for Burnley and the Curzon Street area of town particularly. Many small, independent business owners in Curzon Street were left frustrated when the planned Oval development was finally scrapped last year after years of uncertainty.
The move is the latest part in the ongoing evolution of Burnley town centre’s shopping area, which has already seen several stores relocate to bigger premises nearby, including Clinton Cards, JD Sports and Superdrug.
However, the planned major redevelopment of Charter Walk, announced earlier this year, is now not expected to take place until the new year.
Charter Walk’s new owners Addington Capital announced in the spring a major restructuring of the Market Square including removing the balcony, replacing the cafe and improving shop fronts.
The work will also see WH Smith relocating and River Island extended. Delays in negotiations has meant the work has been put back to the new year. Bosses had hoped work would be completed in time for Christmas.
Charter Walk manager Mr Chris Gribben said: “The future is bright for Burnley town centre. The shops are holding their own and bucking national trends of falling footfall.
“I expect the redevelopment of the Market Square to start in January in time for Easter. A lot of mistakes are made in haste so it was important all the businesses were happy. A lot of major retailers will be in much bigger, better premises as a result.
“Burnley has a very loyal customer base. Burnley people are fanatically proud of their town and I think this is reflected in the continued support for our shops. The new Market Square will enhance that further.”