Two of the biggest names in British retailing are set to expand their operations in Doncaster with more than 60 new jobs.
The largest Next store in the borough is due to open in the next few months, right next door to a new Marks and Spencer food supermarket. The new stores could create up to 60 new jobs including full time, part time and weekend staff. British Land Co, the owners of the Wheatley Retail Park, yesterday announced it has agreed to let two new units amounting to 36,000 square feet at Wheatley Retail Park, on Wheatley Hall Road, to Next PLC and Marks & Spencer Group PLC’s Simply Food.
Next, which already has a smaller unit at Wheatley is to upsize into a 23,518 square foot unit with a full cover mezzanine floor, on a 15-year lease.
Their new store is expected to include a much larger furniture and homewares department than they currently offer at the Frenchgate Centre store.
Next also operates a discount fashion store at the Lakes Village shopping outlet on White Rose Way.
British Land also confirmed Marks & Spencer Simply Food will open its first store at the park, taking a 12,502 square foot unit, their first food-only retail operation in Doncaster.
M&S Simply Food outlets are often at airports, larger railway stations and motorway service areas as well as on high streets.
The new Next will be in the premises which were originally occupied by the Focus do-it-yourself chain before it went into administration more than three years ago.
“Both retailers are known for driving footfall and will enhance the already strong tenant mix at the park,” said British Land asset manager Duncan Reader.
No financial terms of the lets were disclosed.
Other retailers at the park include TK Maxx, Boots, Matalan, Asda, Argos, Jollyes and Sports Direct.
Dunelm also opened a new superstore a short distance along Wheatley Hall Road earlier this year.
The news of major retailers expanding in Doncaster has been welcomed by business leaders, who also sounded a note of caution.
Dan Fell, deputy chief executive of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “New investment in Doncaster is always welcome.
“Doncaster already has a strong retail offer and an increased presence from well known brands like these can only be helpful. However, it is also important that partners work together to ensure that the town centre is not overly displaced by out-of-town developments.”