A branch of Argos is likely to open inside Spalding’s Homebase store, creating around 15 jobs.
Home Retail Group – which owns both of the big High Street names – intends keeping its existing Argos store on Holland Market, which is on a long lease until September 2021.
The group has applied to South Holland District Council to vary a planning condition so it can sell the full Argos catalogue range at Homebase in Westlode Street.
News of the proposed development will be heartening for Spalding’s 42 Homebase employees following October’s bombshell announcement that the DIY/gardening chain will close 80 of its 323 stores by early 2018.
GRS Planning Consultancy, for Homebase, describes the proposed Spalding development as “an Argos Insert”.
In a supporting statement to the council, GRS says the Insert will cover a maximum area of 185 sqm – 5.5 per cent of the floorspace at Homebase, excluding the garden centre.
The company says: “The character, role and format of the Homebase (even with the Insert) will remain as an A1 use selling predominantly bulky goods in accordance with the operational consent.
“The Homebase is in an accessible and established retail destination. It forms an important part of the overall shopping offer in Spalding.
“The Homebase also plays an important part in the local economy through the jobs that it generates, currently a total of 42 full and part-time positions.”
GRS say benefits of the new development include:
• Maximising use of the existing Homebase building in an established and accessible retail location
• Opportunities for linked purchases with existing Homebase customers
• Offering customers easier access to Argos’s bulkier range of goods.