Two new shops to open in Norwich

Norwich is to benefit from the arrival of two new shops over the coming weeks.

Shoppers will see value store Family Bargains open its doors in The Mall Norwich.

The store will occupy the corner unit formerly used by H&M which has been empty for more than a year. It is the largest space in The Mall, measuring 17,000 square feet.

Norwich will be the ninth branch of Family Bargains to open since May last year.

The store is owned by Nadir Lilani who founded the successful bargain chain, 99p stores.

Mr Lilani said: 'Family Bargains is part of the 99p stores group. Over the last year we saw a gap in the market and a demand for products that are good value.

'We also saw a lot of retail property available and we are capitalising on that. We will sell a range of products, including home furnishings and electrical goods to everything from kettles to hair irons to curtains and beds.

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'The new Family Bargains will be our biggest store to date. Our 99p store in Norwich is one of our biggest. There is a good shopping population in Norwich and our mission is to keep offering customers good value.'

Family Bargains will also stock products including food, clothing, cleaning products, furniture and some of the goods which are currently stocked in 99p stores.

Alan Day, general manager of The Mall Norwich, said: 'We expect Family Bargains to open by around mid February. The shop will stock a massive range of products. It will be something different for The Mall and will hopefully bring in a lot of footfall. Everyone likes a bargain; I think it will be very successful.

'Things are looking brighter. We have had a lot of interest in some of our other retail spaces but I think it will be a hard year for retailers and the VAT rise does not help.'

East of England Co-op is also set to open a new food store in Colman Road. The 3,000 square foot space is part of a recently built retail unit on the former site of the Romany pub. The store is set to open in early spring.

Roger Grosvenor, group general manager (trading), for the East of England Co-operative Society, said: 'We look forward to creating about 40 new jobs and giving local people the opportunity to shop in a modern and convenient store.

'The Colman Road Food Store will offer some 3,500 products including more than 1,000 items from the Co-operative own brand range, plus many Fairtrade and locally sourced products.'