News that clothing store Peacocks will soon be opening a branch in South Shields’ troubled main shopping area has provoked a mixed response from Gazette readers.
The firm, which also has an outlet in Jarrow, will be taking over the recently-closed Store 21 at the top end of King Street near the Market Place.
Store 21 closed its doors in June after six years of trading due to the retailer’s bid to avoid administration - the latest in a long line of shop closures in King Street.
Originally the location, and the site next door, housed national retailer Woolworths.
Peacocks have made no official comment on the store opening, but it has advertised for a manager and deputy to run the store.
The shop is displaying signs announcing the fact it was being taken over by Peacocks.
Many readers took to the Gazette’s Facebook page to have their say on the announcement.
Sylvia Besnard wrote: “At least it’s another store.
“People who say it should have been Primark should realise that a larger place would be needed - and Primark is “just another cheap shop”.
Julie Hannard Al-khazraji wrote: “I’ve never shopped in Peacocks myself but I think it’s great news that an empty unit has been filled, definitely a positive move for our South Shields!
Warren Elliott said: “Is that the best Shields can attract? What’s next, a mobile phone shop!”
Wendy Shepherd added: “I think it’s time we all realised that South Shields town centre needs a total makeover.
“Bringing in more budget stores isn’t the answer. It’s just dragging the area down even further.
“We need to make the whole town attractive to locals and visitors to be able to bring more revenue into South Shields.
Susan Mountain wrote: “I think we need a Primark! It would stop people going to Sunderland and Newcastle!
“Let’s face most people, even people with money, shop at Primark!”
Further details about the new store’s opening are set to be revealed in due course.