B&M, Matalan and Wilko to open in Wolverhampton's Mander Centre
Matalan, Wilko and B&M are to open stores in Wolverhampton's Mander Centre, it has been announced.
B&M and Wilko will occupy the top and bottom floors of the old BHS department store respectively, while Matalan will replace New Look's old outlet on the upper mall near HMV and The Entertainer.
The new Wilko store will replace the chain's existing branch in St Georges Parade, which will close.
It is hoped Matalan will open in early May, bringing with it the reopening of the escalators at the Victoria Street entrance opposite Beatties.
The escalators have been closed since New Look moved to a smaller unit inside the Mander Centre at the back end of last year.
Both B&M and Wilko are scheduled to open some time between October and November.
It is not yet known what the move means for staff at the current Wilko branch opposite the Central Library, or for the large building it occupies, with the firm saying it is too early to comment on any possible job losses.
Meanwhile B&M is yet to respond to comment clarifying the future of its large outlet on Bilston Road.
Richard Scharenguivel, the manager of the Mander Centre, has hailed today's announcement as a "significant boost".
He added: “Four major national retailers, hugely popular with shoppers, is a significant boost to the choice of stores in the Mander Centre.
“The recent investment in successfully refurbishing the centre is paying off with both brands and the public alike.
“We are giving our customers four more reasons to shop locally in the city where they live and work.”
Matalan's store, their first in Wolverhampton city centre, will be 23,000 sq ft while B&M's and Wilko's will be 52,000 and 24,000 sq ft respectively.
The trio follow on from value retailer One Below, which opened a store in the Mander Centre earlier this month.
It is understood that other "prominent" retailers are in discussions with bosses about occupying other empty units in the shopping centre.
'City an attractive destination for retailers'
Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for city economy, hailed the triple announcements as "great news".
He added: "It shows that the City of Wolverhampton is a strong and attractive destination for retailers.
“The Mander Centre is the beating heart of the city’s retail offering and is an important part of how we are working with our partners to reinvent our city centre.
“We are seeing major investment in better connectivity, thousands of new city centre homes set to bring new customers to our businesses, plans for new public spaces and events that encourage longer dwell time, a great leisure and sporting offer that brings visitors from far and wide and an outstanding arts and culture scene, enticing new audiences and visitors.
“All of these initiatives are happening now. They are part of a coordinated groundswell of £1 billion investment on site or planned across our city centre. The continued success of the Mander Centre is crucial to this.”