Hull's new Poundland store opens
SHOPPERS filled the new Poundland store in Hull as it opened its doors for the first time yesterday.
Visitors were eager to grab a bargain as they browsed through the shop on the site of the former TJ Hughes store in the city centre.
The six-figure investment has created 25 full-time and part-time jobs and half of the staff were previously unemployed.
Shop assistant Alexander Wainwright, 20, had been on Jobseeker's Allowance for six months and had struggled to find even temporary Christmas work.
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He said: "I was getting quite worried, I have a National Diploma in animal management but couldn't find a job at all.
"There was absolutely nothing out there and I was so pleased when I was offered work at Poundland.
"I now have a part-time contract for six months, which could be expanded, and I'm just happy to be working.
"I've been stacking the shelves for the past week and it's very busy now we've opened. Everyone is pleased it's here."
The three-storey building had been empty since TJ Hughes closed in August last year, resulting in 51 job losses, after it went into administration and closed almost half of its stores.
Poundland has taken over the ground floor and is using the rest of the building for storage.
Assistant manager Steven Colliss said it may sublease the other floors in the future.
He said: "We've been very busy already and it's a massive store. It's great that we have taken on so many people who were struggling to find work.
"The customers have been positive about us opening and this is a prime location near the train station.
"We get a lot of pensioners in the shop and they love to buy our cheap sweets, whether they are for the grandchildren or that's just an excuse. Essential items such as milk and sugar are also popular and we have lots of Halloween and Christmas decorations in.
"We sell big brand names but at cheaper prices and that's why people love us."
Pamela Martin, 56, of Hessle Road, popped in to see how big the store was, while planning a trip with her disabled mother.
She said: "My mum Valerie is 76 and in a wheelchair and, although she is under the weather, I wanted to come along and see if the store is big enough for her to get round easily.
"It's very spacious and we'd definitely come here to shop together for the essentials.
"I like to shop in Poundland for things for the grandchildren and the bleaches are very cheap.
"It's fantastic for the city that this building is now in use."
Hull Business Improvement District city centre manager Kathryn Shillito has welcomed the new store and said it will brighten up the city centre.
She said: "We put up boards on the shop sides showing photographs of the city and it would be nice if they were kept there.
"The agents were never worried about the building because it's such a good site and we're glad someone has taken it on."
Michael Avenell, 50, of the Longhill Estate, works as a kitchen porter across the road from Poundland at the Mercure Royal Hotel.
He said the empty TJ Hughes building gave a bad impression to visitors as they walked into the city centre.
Michael said: "I would definitely come over here from work to buy items in the run-up to Christmas, I'll be in here most days.
"It's fantastic news and everybody loves a bargain."