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poundland-shop-logoPounland has recently admitted that it will be opening a new store in Billericay High Street after denying it inititally to the Echo.

The Echo told last week how posters had appeared on the window of the former Somerfield store, on the High Street, to say the bargain basement shop was due to open there. When the Echo asked Poundland, officials denied they had any plans to open a shop in the town.

But one week on and it’s a very different story, as the company announced it will open a store in the coming weeks. A spokeswoman for Poundland said the reason they kept tight-lipped last week was because the deal had not been secured, so the company, which specialises in cheap groceries and household goods which retail for £1, could not officially confirm it. However, the company now says it will mark the opening of the new store with a family fun day attended by a “well-known celebrity”.

The store will also confirm in the coming weeks how many jobs will be created.

The spokesman refused to confirm they are opening at the former Somerfield store, but this is expected to be the case.

Poundland’s trading director David Coxon, said: “Poundland has grown significantly over the past 12 months and it’s fantastic to see this expansion continuing with a new store in Billericay. We’re looking forward to opening our doors.” The news was greeted with a mixed reaction by key figures in the town.

Phil Turner, the borough’s ward councillor for Billericay, said: “I’m glad it’s not going to be another pub, but it isn’t the sort of store I would immediately think of when I think of trying to attract businesses to Billericay. I would like to have seen a Marks & Spencer or something of that quality coming to the town to compete with Waitrose. Having said that, there was the same feeling when Iceland came to the town and that seems to have found a bit of a niche.”

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