A FLURRY of reaction has greeted news of a potential TK Maxx in Chichester city centre.
Last week’s Observer included a comment by city centre manager Kim Long that the clothes shop was preparing to move into Little London Walk, with Whitby’s now the only remaining business on the site.
“As far as I’m aware, TK Maxx are still lined up to move into it,” she told a meeting of Chichester District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee.
Readers’ reactions varied greatly – by Thursday evening 80 people had contacted the Observer, primarily via the Facebook page. Some people called for the space to be given back to smaller businesses, while others expressed their desire for a Primark store in the city centre.
“People can never win can they,” said Alesha Kuchanny.
“If they had put a restaurant there someone would have moaned, if a Primark, people would have said it was cheap rubbish, if something luxury it would have been classed as unaffordable so I actually think TK Maxx is a safe bet to please the majority.
“It’s easy on the purse, has some designer things, good for Christmas presents, eg kids toys, and the children’s clothes are unusual and good quality.”
However, others raised worries about the impact on independent traders and what the future holds for smaller businesses when the many units of Little London Walk are sacrificed to accommodate one larger store.
“Maybe Chichester should focus on the local businesses and shops that are struggling to stay open,” said Emma Matthews.
“By all means open a TK Maxx but not where local businesses have always been.
“TK Maxx would help bring custom to our town, thus helping to support local shops.
“I thought Chichester was proud to be different, quaint and support it’s local businesses. Do we really want to become a larger more artificial city?”
Whitby’s camera shop has confirmed it is due to expand across the whole East Street frontage while work takes place, with plans for it to move out in 2015 to a new premises in the city centre.
In response to a query from the Observer, TK Maxx communications (UK) manager Lucy McGonigle said: “We are unable to confirm the addition of a TK Maxx store to the city centre at this time.”