Fashion giant TK MAXX has designs on being Knee's new neighbour in Trowbridge

Wiltshire Times: Helen Andrews pricing up and arranging the display at the new HJ Knee store at Spitfire Retail Park Helen Andrews pricing up and arranging the display at the new HJ Knee store at Spitfire Retail Park

Fashion giant TK MAXX looks likely to be the next big name to move to Trowbridge.

The company has applied to Wiltshire Council for planning permission to open at the Spitfire Retail Park, in the vacant former Harveys unit, just as the town’s long established department store HJ Knee moves its business next door.

HJ Knee is leaving Fore Street, in Trowbridge town centre, after 130 years and is opening its new venture at 10am on Friday.

Despite plans being submitted to the council TK MAXX is keeping tight-lipped about its intentions.

A company spokesman said: “We don’t announce anything about new stores until we’ve received confirmation from appropriate bodies.”

The council expects to make a decision on the plans by April 21.

Colin Kay, Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce president, thinks the clothing store would be a welcome addition.

He said: “They are a well-known name and a lot of people like them.

"There’s been rumours of them coming to Trowbridge for a long time and it is pleasing to think they want to retail here.”

The new HJ Knee new store, in the former Comet shop, will specialise in electrical goods, furniture and homeware.

The retailer downsized as it prepared for the move, closing its electrical store and partially closing its department store, which will remain open while selling discontinued and clearance stock.

Peppers Hair and Beauty Salon will continue in the department store until the building closes.

Retail director Ian Vidler said: “Preparations are going well and everyone is excited to open the new store.

"If we hadn’t made this move when we may have stopped retailing, due to a noticable change in the market, whereas this exciting venture will assure our future for the next 20 or 30 years.”

Knees is working with property consultant Sanderson Weatherall to find tenants for the stores it is vacating.

The company plans to hold activities to officially mark its move over Easter.

Managing director Marcus Holbrow said: “We’d still like to be in the town centre but it became obvious to us that this move was needed to help our business progress.”

As part of its move HJ Knee cut its staff of 50 by making 15 redundancies.

Comments (10)

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7:49am Fri 28 Mar 14

moocherx says...

Good! Although now I think parking is going to start getting a little out of hand there. It's already choc full at weekends, and that's with Harvey's and Comet closed down.
Good! Although now I think parking is going to start getting a little out of hand there. It's already choc full at weekends, and that's with Harvey's and Comet closed down. moocherx
  • Score: 10

10:30am Fri 28 Mar 14

Dr H Z Hackenbush says...

Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town.....

Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science!

And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up!
Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town..... Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science! And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up! Dr H Z Hackenbush
  • Score: 6

11:59am Fri 28 Mar 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Dr H Z Hackenbush wrote:
Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town.....

Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science!

And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up!
Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building.
[quote][p][bold]Dr H Z Hackenbush[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town..... Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science! And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up![/p][/quote]Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 10

12:00pm Fri 28 Mar 14

D@ve says...

Dr H Z Hackenbush wrote:
Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town.....

Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science!

And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up!
As much as it's a good idea, I don't think you'll see this happening.

If the council were to drop rates, they would have to do this for all town centre traders, otherwise they'd be discriminating against them.

To be fair, car parking charges are not the problem. If paying 50p for 2-3hrs parking is deemed expensive, then the world has gone mad. We have some of the cheapest parking in the country,

The reason the streets are empty is easy - There are not big enough empty units in a central space to attract the stores, multipled with landlords still wanting extremely high rents.

The whole town centre needs redevelopment, keep the frontage of listed buildings, but the floor space needs increased to attract the larger stores.

One quick win would be to resurface Fore Street, remove the outdated brick work and replace the surface with a much more modern look, feel and better public realm .
[quote][p][bold]Dr H Z Hackenbush[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town..... Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science! And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up![/p][/quote]As much as it's a good idea, I don't think you'll see this happening. If the council were to drop rates, they would have to do this for all town centre traders, otherwise they'd be discriminating against them. To be fair, car parking charges are not the problem. If paying 50p for 2-3hrs parking is deemed expensive, then the world has gone mad. We have some of the cheapest parking in the country, The reason the streets are empty is easy - There are not big enough empty units in a central space to attract the stores, multipled with landlords still wanting extremely high rents. The whole town centre needs redevelopment, keep the frontage of listed buildings, but the floor space needs increased to attract the larger stores. One quick win would be to resurface Fore Street, remove the outdated brick work and replace the surface with a much more modern look, feel and better public realm . D@ve
  • Score: 12

12:14pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Dr H Z Hackenbush says...

Mrs Donnyfly wrote:
Dr H Z Hackenbush wrote:
Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town.....

Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science!

And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up!
Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building.
YES Mrs Donner Knees do own the store.... my point is that between the Council and Knees could they not broker a deal that is attractive to TKMAX (reasonable business rates) Knees get a rent from TKMAX and the good folk of Trowbridge dont have to sit in cars waiting to get into Spitfire they can shop in the town center thus helping out other small shops in town?
[quote][p][bold]Mrs Donnyfly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dr H Z Hackenbush[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town..... Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science! And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up![/p][/quote]Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building.[/p][/quote]YES Mrs Donner Knees do own the store.... my point is that between the Council and Knees could they not broker a deal that is attractive to TKMAX (reasonable business rates) Knees get a rent from TKMAX and the good folk of Trowbridge dont have to sit in cars waiting to get into Spitfire they can shop in the town center thus helping out other small shops in town? Dr H Z Hackenbush
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Dr H Z Hackenbush wrote:
Mrs Donnyfly wrote:
Dr H Z Hackenbush wrote:
Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town.....

Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science!

And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up!
Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building.
YES Mrs Donner Knees do own the store.... my point is that between the Council and Knees could they not broker a deal that is attractive to TKMAX (reasonable business rates) Knees get a rent from TKMAX and the good folk of Trowbridge dont have to sit in cars waiting to get into Spitfire they can shop in the town center thus helping out other small shops in town?
Perhaps TKMAX don't want a shop as big as the old Knees store. For all we know there might be plans already for that building.

And the good folk of Trowbridge don't have to sit in their cars waiting to get into Spitfire... they choose to.
[quote][p][bold]Dr H Z Hackenbush[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mrs Donnyfly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dr H Z Hackenbush[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't the council be better off persuading TKMAX to occupy the now redundant Knees store in town..... Give them cheaper business rates and reduce the cost of car parking and hey presto shoppers start using Trowbridge again, its not rocket science! And moocherx is 100% correct.... if you go up to spitfire on a weekend its a nightmare to get parked up![/p][/quote]Doesn't Knees own the building they have just vacated? So it's not up to the Council to tell any business to use that building.[/p][/quote]YES Mrs Donner Knees do own the store.... my point is that between the Council and Knees could they not broker a deal that is attractive to TKMAX (reasonable business rates) Knees get a rent from TKMAX and the good folk of Trowbridge dont have to sit in cars waiting to get into Spitfire they can shop in the town center thus helping out other small shops in town?[/p][/quote]Perhaps TKMAX don't want a shop as big as the old Knees store. For all we know there might be plans already for that building. And the good folk of Trowbridge don't have to sit in their cars waiting to get into Spitfire... they choose to. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 3

8:45am Sat 29 Mar 14

trollbridge says...

D@ves final point is really worth highlighting. The state of the town centre public realm is the one thing TCC can get on and sort out - it's shocking. What's the point of all the peripheral investment if no section 106 monies are being taken to improve the town centre which will be left to die (even more!)

The redundant lighting should be removed with the god awful clay bricks.. Thetown centres appearance should be the number one priority now or Knees is just going to be yet another (bigger) cr*apy charity shop..
D@ves final point is really worth highlighting. The state of the town centre public realm is the one thing TCC can get on and sort out - it's shocking. What's the point of all the peripheral investment if no section 106 monies are being taken to improve the town centre which will be left to die (even more!) The redundant lighting should be removed with the god awful clay bricks.. Thetown centres appearance should be the number one priority now or Knees is just going to be yet another (bigger) cr*apy charity shop.. trollbridge
  • Score: 8

9:25am Sun 30 Mar 14

beetawix says...

Everyone knows that big retailers don't have clue about what they are doing. with regards to store location. Nor do they pay attention to the expertise to be found in 'have your say'.

There is plenty of room to park If you go 'up Spitfire' at 9am
If there are peaks when parking is difficult, write to the retail park management suggesting an overhead camera to bradcast current usage on the web.
Everyone knows that big retailers don't have clue about what they are doing. with regards to store location. Nor do they pay attention to the expertise to be found in 'have your say'. There is plenty of room to park If you go 'up Spitfire' at 9am If there are peaks when parking is difficult, write to the retail park management suggesting an overhead camera to bradcast current usage on the web. beetawix
  • Score: 3

2:12pm Mon 31 Mar 14

brandx says...

Regarding comments on improving Trowbridge Town Centre, I undertand that Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce are working on a Business Improvement bid with the Town Council and Wiltshire Council.

Colin Kay and David Baker of the Chamber are the people to contact and put your thoughts to.

When and if the Bowyers site is developed we will have all the car parking we need.
Regarding comments on improving Trowbridge Town Centre, I undertand that Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce are working on a Business Improvement bid with the Town Council and Wiltshire Council. Colin Kay and David Baker of the Chamber are the people to contact and put your thoughts to. When and if the Bowyers site is developed we will have all the car parking we need. brandx
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Dr H Z Hackenbush says...

"And the good folk of Trowbridge don't have to sit in their cars waiting to get into Spitfire... they choose to"

YES Donner they do choose to as there is nothing in the town center!
"And the good folk of Trowbridge don't have to sit in their cars waiting to get into Spitfire... they choose to" YES Donner they do choose to as there is nothing in the town center! Dr H Z Hackenbush
  • Score: 4

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