Boots will take over the former New Look store in Weymouth – here’s when

BOOTS in Weymouth are due to move into the former New Look store in June, this has been confirmed – as changes are planned to the current Boots premises.

New Look fashion chain closed for the last time at the New Bond Street premises last Saturday, with signs placed in windows advising shoppers they can still click and collect at the retailer’s head office in Weymouth’s Mercery Road.

The clothing brand has been on the local high street for 51 years and was widely seen as part of the fabric of the town, but had to close after its landlord ended the lease early.

The first New Look store in St Mary Street was founded in 1971 by Tom Singh and his wife, with offices above the premises. He opened a branch of 915 for children and teenagers in the city center in 1990 – which later became part of the larger New Bond Street store.

A truck arrived on Tuesday evening to empty the store, marking the end of the brand’s long history in the city centre.

Now it has been confirmed that the Weymouth branch of Boots will leave its current double-fronted premises at 81-82 St Mary Street and 22-24 St Thomas Street to take over the vacant store.

The move will take place in June according to Weymouth Boots store manager Darren Steel – who set a date towards the end of the month – but said it was not set in stone.

He told the Echo: “It’s going to be a smart move – this store will continue to trade so there won’t be any disruption to customers. Although we’re moving there won’t be much of a noticeable difference – what you see inside the branch now will remain more or less the same – but spread over two floors, both stores are roughly the same size in terms of floor space.

Without any major changes to office size or store offerings, it seems unlikely the branch will need to create additional positions at this time, Steel added.

We wondered why Boots decided to move, if the stores were the same size and no further changes were planned. The response was that the owner of the current Boots premises has plans for the future use of the building – but there are no further details of those plans at this time.

There were temporary Boots signs above the entrance on the St Mary Street side of the building for about a year.

The current building in Weymouth Boots is Grade II listed and dates back to the early to mid 1800s when it was originally two townhouses. Currently the upper floors are used as storage/office space.

The national healthcare and retail brand was founded by John Boot in 1849 when he opened the first store in Nottingham, selling herbal remedies. Boots was acquired in 2014 and is now part of the US-based Walgreens Boots Alliance – for now. The pharmaceutical giant put Boots on sale last month as part of a shift in focus to the US healthcare market.

The venture is understood to be attracting strong interest, including from Asda owners the Issa brothers and other major UK supermarkets.

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