Trowbridge shoppers rush to bag bargains

FESTIVE shoppers flocked to Trowbridge in their thousands in the build-up to Christmas to bag a bargain at HJ Knee’s relocation sale, which started on Friday.

Knees is closing its home of 130 years in Fore Street, as well as its nearby electricals store, to move to the Spitfire Retail Park in March. In preparation, it cut prices by 30 per cent in many departments.

The new store will focus on electrical and home goods, with the retail park’s free car parking seen as being a benefit for customers buying big items.

Store manager Ian Vidler said: “It was a superb start, the department store was manic and it reminded us of days of old. “To be honest, the sale has been a little more successful than we were anticipating.”

Following the news of itsmove, the company said it wanted to hold the sale as soon as possible, to help its customers save money for Christmas.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback about the move, but obviously there has been some negativity from some of our older customers. “Unfortunately, we’ve been fighting for 10 years to make the town centre more vibrant and this was the right time for us to go,” said Mr Vidler.

Knees employs around 50 staff and some job losses are expected when it moves from the town centre to its new home.

Mr Vidler said: “It is sad, as it feels like a family home is breaking up and it is not the easiest situation for all concerned, but the good thing is we are not going to lose too many jobs.”

Meanwhile the Leekes store in Melksham contributed to a successful year for the company. Leekes Retail and Leisure Group, which owns the superstore on Beanacre Road, announced an annual turnover of £66m and a year-on-year increase of over seven per cent on Monday.

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