Dozens of jobs in store as bargain business expands

B&M Bargains store manager Alan Feeney outside the old Focus store it is to replace

B&M Bargains store manager Alan Feeney outside the old Focus store it is to replace Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

UP TO 150 jobs are being created as two new bargain stores open in Didcot and Abingdon.

A B&M Home Store is opening at Fairacres Retail Park in Abingdon on September 18.

And two days later the chain, which already has shops in Cowley and Wantage, will open another Home Store with a garden centre in the former Focus building on the Wallingford Road Retail Park in Didcot.

The bargain chain says the two new shops will create up to 150 jobs.

Emma East, spokeswoman for Didcot promotion agency Didcot First, said: “I think it is great news.

“The Focus site has been empty for a while. I think this a great opportunity for another company to move into Didcot.

“More competition is a good thing.”

She added: “Those industries are doing very well in this economic climate, and I think it will be popular.”

The 31,000 sq ft bargain stores will sell low-price food, toiletries, toys, soft furnishings and electrical goods.

Oxfordshire county councillor for Didcot West Nick Hards said: “Everyone in Didcot loves a bargain.

“It will be good to have that site in use. I think it has been empty for so long people have forgotten that vacant unit is there.”

The retail park is also home to Tesco and a branch of Halfords.

Mr Hards added: “It will be nice that people who use Tesco have somewhere else to shop on the same site.”

Former DIY shop Focus closed in 2008, the company blaming the “difficult economic climate”.

Abingdon business and civic leaders have raised concerns about out-of-town retail outlets taking shoppers away from the town centre.

And Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt said he could not see people “beating a path” to the new Abingdon store at the expense of the town centre.

Mr Lovatt said: “We would like to see more ‘destination shops’ in the town centre, a Next or something like that which will bring people into the town.”

B&M area manager for Oxfordshire Darryl Neville said: “We’re really proud to be opening not one but two new stores across Oxfordshire, creating up to 150 new jobs and playing our part in the local community.

“We are excited to get the doors open this month and have two teams of colleagues who are willing to provide great value products and world class service to our customers.”

There are vacancies at both stores. For more information, and to apply, go to bmstores/careers

Ready for a move on the continent

Entrepreneur Malcolm Billington opened his first B&M bargain store in 1978 in Blackpool, Lancashire.

The company was taken over by Simon and Bobby Arora in December 2004, at which time it ran 21 stores

The firm now runs more than 370 shops and employs some 16,000 staff.

This year B&M listed on the London Stock Exchange and set its sights on expanding into continental Europe. 

The listing followed B&M’s acquisition of a majority stake in German discount retailer JA Woll.

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Comments (16)

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12:06pm Wed 3 Sep 14

EMBOX2 says...

Basically, another Poundland, aka. Cheap Chinese C4ap.

I went to Poundland a few weeks ago to buy some household goods. Got 2 packs of rubber gloves, and guess what? All were left handed!!

You pay peanuts.....
Basically, another Poundland, aka. Cheap Chinese C4ap. I went to Poundland a few weeks ago to buy some household goods. Got 2 packs of rubber gloves, and guess what? All were left handed!! You pay peanuts..... EMBOX2
  • Score: -3

12:10pm Wed 3 Sep 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

yet another $oundstore selling tat
yet another $oundstore selling tat yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -2

12:31pm Wed 3 Sep 14

roadrashdan says...

Just whats needed!!! not!
Shame the one outside Didcot isn't going to be another DIY store. Wantage lost its DIY store to family bargains and now Didcot has lost its focus to B&M.
Just whats needed!!! not! Shame the one outside Didcot isn't going to be another DIY store. Wantage lost its DIY store to family bargains and now Didcot has lost its focus to B&M. roadrashdan
  • Score: 1

1:20pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons).

I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square.

Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer.

Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland
B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons). I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square. Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer. Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 14

1:25pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Neonlights says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
Basically, another Poundland, aka. Cheap Chinese C4ap.

I went to Poundland a few weeks ago to buy some household goods. Got 2 packs of rubber gloves, and guess what? All were left handed!!

You pay peanuts.....
Apart from some of the chinese products, B&M sell a lot of branded food and confectionary products at a fraction of the cost of some of the supermarkets. I've obtained some real bargains at the Wantage B&M branch. Food, tools, electical and electronic items to name but a few.

I thought Tesco owned the land in Didcot where Halfords and the former Focus used to be? Surprised they've let a competitor onto their land.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Basically, another Poundland, aka. Cheap Chinese C4ap. I went to Poundland a few weeks ago to buy some household goods. Got 2 packs of rubber gloves, and guess what? All were left handed!! You pay peanuts.....[/p][/quote]Apart from some of the chinese products, B&M sell a lot of branded food and confectionary products at a fraction of the cost of some of the supermarkets. I've obtained some real bargains at the Wantage B&M branch. Food, tools, electical and electronic items to name but a few. I thought Tesco owned the land in Didcot where Halfords and the former Focus used to be? Surprised they've let a competitor onto their land. Neonlights
  • Score: 12

1:40pm Wed 3 Sep 14

singhji says...

Totally gutted to know that another cheap store is opening on 20th September and then comes LIDL just few meters away. What happened to the original plan of phase 2 revamp of the ORchard shopping center. The council failed to attract big brands like MS and Debenhams.

Check the reviews of poor customer service at http://www.reviewcen
tre.com/reviews25047
2.html

Words speak for themselves
Totally gutted to know that another cheap store is opening on 20th September and then comes LIDL just few meters away. What happened to the original plan of phase 2 revamp of the ORchard shopping center. The council failed to attract big brands like MS and Debenhams. Check the reviews of poor customer service at http://www.reviewcen tre.com/reviews25047 2.html Words speak for themselves singhji
  • Score: -6

2:03pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Neonlights says...

It's ALDI coming soon up the road, not LIDL.

Reading some of the comments about Poundland and the like, I never realised Didcot had so many snobs, despite all the charity shops it has.

If you want to pay top dollar for your stuff then go ahead. Meanwhile I'm quite happy to shop at the cheapy stores.
It's ALDI coming soon up the road, not LIDL. Reading some of the comments about Poundland and the like, I never realised Didcot had so many snobs, despite all the charity shops it has. If you want to pay top dollar for your stuff then go ahead. Meanwhile I'm quite happy to shop at the cheapy stores. Neonlights
  • Score: 17

3:38pm Wed 3 Sep 14

livid99 says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons).

I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square.

Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer.

Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland
Looks like you need a healthier diet...
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons). I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square. Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer. Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland[/p][/quote]Looks like you need a healthier diet... livid99
  • Score: -2

4:49pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

livid99 wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons).

I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square.

Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer.

Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland
Looks like you need a healthier diet...
Those are just the little treats.

A BMI of 23.8 and a cholesterol level of 4.6 mmol/L isn't too shabby.

(LDL 2.8 mmol/L for those who know what it means)
[quote][p][bold]livid99[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: B&Ms is amazing (as it Wilkinsons). I always buy certain items in Sainsbury, Waitrose or M&S - but other items always come from the retailers in Templar's Square. Baxters Soups, Carte Noir Coffee, Barr's Irn-Bru, 7-up, Bonne Maman jams & spreads and the various major brands of breakfast biscuits - all cheaper than the major retailers. The confectionery aisle always has something of interest - last week I bought a rather scrummy "Baby Ruth" and a bag of "Butter Fingers". A colleauge managed to pick up their last Panasonic vacuum cleaner at £49 - £100 cheaper than any other retailer. Embrace the new range of retailers and mix & match between Waitrose and Poundland[/p][/quote]Looks like you need a healthier diet...[/p][/quote]Those are just the little treats. A BMI of 23.8 and a cholesterol level of 4.6 mmol/L isn't too shabby. (LDL 2.8 mmol/L for those who know what it means) Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 8

7:00am Thu 4 Sep 14

EMBOX2 says...

Did no-one watch the BBC program on pound shops? Those boxes of cereal/washing powder/etc you get for £1 are usually much smaller than the "normal" sizes found in other retailers.
Did no-one watch the BBC program on pound shops? Those boxes of cereal/washing powder/etc you get for £1 are usually much smaller than the "normal" sizes found in other retailers. EMBOX2
  • Score: -3

1:13pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Myron Blatz says...

One of the exciting things of buying cheap stuf, is that is exactly what you get - whether it be specially manufactured 'bargains' at high profit margins for the retailer, or the opportunity of buying bankrupt stock which would otherwise have gone to landfill. It's like getting '50% off' or 'Special Sale - one year only' that we get bombarded with - and can that new suite of leather furniture really be 'half price or better' from a store which changed its name after previously going bankrupt? Scoff at Waitrose and John Lewis, but at least they are owned by the employees as shareholders- unlike the Co-ops, which are owned by the same people who allowed Co-operative Bank to get itself £1.5 billion into debt! Many might publically slag-off the likes of Lidl, Aldi, Poundland and B&M ...... and then sneak out and buy trolley-fulls of stuff from them when none of their neighbours are watching, and then put their purchases into Sainsbury's bags, like my Auntie does!
One of the exciting things of buying cheap stuf, is that is exactly what you get - whether it be specially manufactured 'bargains' at high profit margins for the retailer, or the opportunity of buying bankrupt stock which would otherwise have gone to landfill. It's like getting '50% off' or 'Special Sale - one year only' that we get bombarded with - and can that new suite of leather furniture really be 'half price or better' from a store which changed its name after previously going bankrupt? Scoff at Waitrose and John Lewis, but at least they are owned by the employees as shareholders- unlike the Co-ops, which are owned by the same people who allowed Co-operative Bank to get itself £1.5 billion into debt! Many might publically slag-off the likes of Lidl, Aldi, Poundland and B&M ...... and then sneak out and buy trolley-fulls of stuff from them when none of their neighbours are watching, and then put their purchases into Sainsbury's bags, like my Auntie does! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 1

7:36pm Thu 4 Sep 14

lfcforeverandy says...

Has anyone who posted it being another poundland actually been in a B & M as I have been In several different ones and they don't just sell cheap crap as people would call it they actually sell huge amounts of branded items including a lot of very top name toys.
names like
peppa pig
star wars
micky mouse stuff
fireman sam

it's more like a wilkinsons/woolworth
s when they were around but they sell food and and in some stores alcohol.
Has anyone who posted it being another poundland actually been in a B & M as I have been In several different ones and they don't just sell cheap crap as people would call it they actually sell huge amounts of branded items including a lot of very top name toys. names like peppa pig star wars micky mouse stuff fireman sam it's more like a wilkinsons/woolworth s when they were around but they sell food and and in some stores alcohol. lfcforeverandy
  • Score: 1

7:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

lfcforeverandy says...

forgot to mention

Thomas the tank engine toys + many more

until people have been in one of these store they can't comment on how good or bad they are.

stop whining and just be happy to get a decent priced store which has something for everyone
forgot to mention Thomas the tank engine toys + many more until people have been in one of these store they can't comment on how good or bad they are. stop whining and just be happy to get a decent priced store which has something for everyone lfcforeverandy
  • Score: 3

11:14pm Thu 4 Sep 14

doozer says...

...I thought that there was a 'Planning Covenant' in place at Fairacres in Abingdon; one of the main reasons for this being to protect the town centre...

The covenant being there to prevent food/drink/alcohol being sold - I guess the idea being so that shoppers are not unequally drawn to that end of town and away from the centre....

What has happened to that covenant? What are the implications for the town centre if goods that are sold there are now also available at yet another out of town location?

Is THIS lease and dispersal of that covenant setting us all up for something even bigger at Fairacres I wonder?
...I thought that there was a 'Planning Covenant' in place at Fairacres in Abingdon; one of the main reasons for this being to protect the town centre... The covenant being there to prevent food/drink/alcohol being sold - I guess the idea being so that shoppers are not unequally drawn to that end of town and away from the centre.... What has happened to that covenant? What are the implications for the town centre if goods that are sold there are now also available at yet another out of town location? Is THIS lease and dispersal of that covenant setting us all up for something even bigger at Fairacres I wonder? doozer
  • Score: 1

8:09pm Fri 5 Sep 14

piper2011 says...

what on earth is a" destination" store ?
what on earth is a" destination" store ? piper2011
  • Score: 1

1:33pm Mon 8 Sep 14

cornflake girl says...

B&M Brilliant, love this :) - wow so many negative comments from the posh people of Didcot you will all be in there grabbing your toilet roll etc when you see its a fraction of the cost in comparision to other chained stores nearby. its is nothing like pound land either, in fact just like FOCUS was but with a lot more to offer, fab news.
B&M Brilliant, love this :) - wow so many negative comments from the posh people of Didcot you will all be in there grabbing your toilet roll etc when you see its a fraction of the cost in comparision to other chained stores nearby. its is nothing like pound land either, in fact just like FOCUS was but with a lot more to offer, fab news. cornflake girl
  • Score: 2

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