There have been mixed reactions to the news that discount retailer B&M has this week begun recruiting staff for its soon-to-open new store in Burnham-On-Sea.
The discount retailer is set to take over the Pier Street store that was previously occupied by Morrisons until it shut down last November.
B&M will employ around 50 staff in Burnham and has this week begun advertising for a Store Manager and a Deputy Store Manager via its website here.
B&M has not yet stated when it will open in Burnham, but the recruitment of senior staff is a sign that it is now definitely coming to the town after months of uncertainty.
Concerns have been raised about the impact of B&M’s store on existing shops in Burnham, as we reported here.
Burnham’s MP James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Thursday evening: “Local residents will remember that I had a great deal of concern about the arrival of a discount retailer like B&M. However, after speaking with them at some length about their offer and after seeing the store left empty for too long, I am delighted that they and Morrisons have now struck a deal and that their store will open soon.”
He added: “After many increasingly angry phone calls with Morrisons over their lack of progress, I am delighted that a deal has been done, new jobs have been created and Burnham’s town centre has a major retailer back at the bottom of the High Street.”
Burnham Chamber Of Trade & Commerce said it would welcome B&M, but a spokesman added: “A number of Chamber members are concerned about the goods B&M will sell and a replacement food store might have been preferable, nevertheless footfall and jobs will be generated by the opening and the town centre must seize the opportunity offered.”
Town Centre Manager Bev Milner Simonds added: “It is a relief to have the frustrations of the last seven months behind us and movement forward finally underway. Having this large property empty as we start the busy summer season is disappointing and I know that traders in the town are very keen to have the new tenant in open as soon as possible. I do not know what the impact of the opening will be on our 88 retailers, but I know that they are all keen to compete on service and choice.”
Responding to traders’ concerns about the products it sells, B&M said: “We offer a broad range of products across many commodity groups which enables us to trade in all seasons. This helps us to attract significant footfall all year round, attracting new and existing customers to the town centre. In the main this will be of huge benefit to the local traders and vitality.”