A SHOP in Swadlincote’s High Street which recently shut its doors will reopen as the town’s second Poundstretcher store.
Pat Murray, chairman of Swadlincote Chamber of Trade, welcomed the news that Alworths — which revealed it was closing after just seven months of trading — is to be turned into a new Poundstretcher store.
It is good news for former Alworths employees, as Swadlincote will become one of 15 of the 17 stores in the country given a second chance.
The new store will be the second Poundstretcher on the town’s high street.
The fate of the two stores not being absorbed into the Poundstretcher empire has not yet been decided.
The annexation of the Alworths stores is a significant step towards Poundstretcher’s stated goal of having 500 shops by 2013.
Their current total — including the 15 from Alworths — stands at 340.
Councillor Murray, who represents the Wodville ward on South Derbyshire District Council, said the news provided more evidence that the town was growing and developing.
He said: “It is brilliant, it just goes to show that when one door closes another one opens.
“At the chamber of trade, we work extremely hard at promoting the town and Swadlincote seems to appear to be the place to come.
“It is growing and securing more jobs, so it is no surprise that the store filled up so soon.
“It is a relief to staff as we don’t want the town to turn into a ghost town. We are very much in touch with the people.”
He added that Alworths was doomed from almost the very beginning as the prices did not reflect its predecessor, Woolworths.
“The directors of Woolworths set up Alworths,” he added.
“It was a similar name, but the prices weren’t the same and it didn’t have the same brands, so I think that was their downfall.
“I thought it was doomed from about the second month from the feedback I had and the amount of customers it had.
“Poundstretcher has been a success. It is big company and is long established in retail.
“It has its own market researchers who know that Swadlincote is growing and is the third-fastest district in the country at the moment.
“It is the place to come. They have done their homework.”