Disused gaming arcade to become new store in South Shields
A disused amusements arcade is being taken over by a retailer which specialises in clothing for the classroom to the workplace.
The Workwear and Schoolwear Company will relocate within weeks from Westoe, South Shields, to a new site in Ocean Road, South Shields.
Bosses have snapped up the former Wonderland Amusements outlet, which shut down around a decade ago.
To capture new custom and increase footfall, they plan to freshen up their clothing range, including adding new leisurewear lines.
Director Ahmed Khan said: “We have been looking at this site for about five years but could not reach an agreement with the owners.
“That has now changed, and we are looking forward to moving in and redeveloping what is perhaps the last retail site on Ocean Road.
“Ocean Road has undergone a lot of recent investment, with the street itself undergoing change and many of the restaurants also making improvements.”
He added: “Our current shop did not benefit from great footfall, it is somewhere that you only really come to if you specifically need something.
“In our new location, we hope to take advantage of the high numbers of people already coming to the town centre.
“There are also lots of potential customers who will pass during the summer’s seafront events and from the Great North Run.
“We also plan to modernise our clothing lines by refreshing our existing brands and adding new leisurewear.
“It is clear that many people like to socialise after work and they don’t want to go home and change first – we will help cater for that market.”
The move ends the firm’s long association with Westoe, having opened selling reconditioned workwear in Dean Road in September 1999.
Ten years ago this month it moved to its current location next to the Westoe pub, also Dean Road.
The one-storey premises has been bought by Kerry and Paul Brown, owners of Browns Letting Agency, in South Shields.
They plan to relocate their existing offices, sited just 100 yards away, into one part of their new development.
Adjoining it will be their bar and bistro, potentially employing 15 full and part-time staff and opening by the end of the year.
Mr Khan, a former South Tyneside councillor, said he hoped Workwear would employ up to five extra part-time staff when the new outlet opens by early March.