A menswear store that went out of fashion and shut its doors after over 30 years, is in line for a new lease of life – after being bought for £350,000.
The three-storey, 8,864sq ft former Burton shop in King Street, South Shields, which closed in January, has been auctioned off.
Mystery surrounds the buyer and its plans for the site, with auction company bosses staying tight-lipped. but they confirmed it is a well-known, national retail-linked business.
Confirmation the sale comes just a day after Debenhams’ South Shields store, in Waterloo Place, escaped closure among a national store cull.
Retail bosses and council chiefs say they hope the latest positive developments signal a revival for the town centre’s shopping prospects.
Phil Goodfellow, 44, co-owner of designer menswear outlet Northern Threads, in Ocean Road, said: “It is very good news all round.
“It’s great that the old Burton store has been sold, although we will have to see what goes in there.
“I’m told another business has plans to take over the site of the former Edit UK shop, and Debenhams in South Shields will also stay open.
“With summer coming, let’s hope this is the push forward that retailers in the town need.”
Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy at South Tyneside Council, added: “We welcome the fact that a vacant store is being brought back into use on King Street.
“South Shields town centre is undergoing a massive transformation.
“The award-winning Word, National Centre for the Written Word, has just welcomed its millionth visitor and the Transport Interchange, which will provide a new, modern gateway to the town, is due to open in the summer.
“The 365 masterplan aimed to inject a new vitality to South Shields and these material changes are bringing with them a renewed confidence to the town.”
Burton, part of businessman Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, was a feature of King Street since at least the mid-1980s.
Its then neighbours included high street giants such as Woolworths, Binns and Marks and Spencer.
All three have now disappeared from the retail hub, the last being Marks and Spencer in 2014.
Last December, Scarborough retailer Boyes opened in the former M&S unit, which had remained vacant.
The Burton outlet was sold by Nottingham-based Auction Estates.
A company spokeswoman said: “We do not know what the buyer intends to do with this property.
“They are known to us and are also widely known around the country for retail and residential.”