Sweeping changes have been made to Tamworth Co-op’s iconic department store as the Society demonstrates its faith in the town centre and its historic HQ.
A raft of department stores have been closed in surrounding Midlands towns in recent years as a result of the economic climate and changing shopping trends.
By contrast, extensive work has been carried out at the flagship store in Colehill to accommodate new fashion ranges from one of the country’s best-known High Street retailers.
Tamworth Co-operative Society has signed a significant agreement to stock M&Co clothing for men, women and children. The move is part of a major overhaul of the ground floor.
An area of around 6,000 sq.ft. has been refitted to make way for a selection of exclusively designed clothes catering for all ages.
The longstanding Store Twenty One concession, which provides high value ladies, kids and menswear, along with houseware and toys, also has a new home on the upper ground floor taking up more than 4,000 sq.ft. of space.
They are joined by Brantano Footwear, another newcomer, which has moved from Ventura Park to take advantage of the convenient town centre location.
All three complement the extensive choice of men’s and women’s clothes and more footwear available at outlet prices on the first floor.
Ron Constable, general manager non-food, said: “We are one of the few independent societies still operating a department store.
“We’re delighted to be able to announce these new arrivals in time for Christmas. M&Co and Brantano both shared our vision and this is a massive endorsement for us. Partnerships and quality brands have been the foundation of our success to date.
“I firmly believe people shop with us for our excellent value coupled with first class customer service, something we are very proud of. We’ve also completely revamped our furniture ranges on the top floor, bringing in a fantastic selection of upholstery, dining and bedroom furniture. So these are exciting times for us, especially as we’re celebrating our 130th anniversary this year.”
The store no longer offers electrical goods but still sells bedding, home furnishings and gifts, and has an on-site travel centre, opticians, mobility aids section and bereavement advice centre.
Julian Coles, chief executive of Tamworth Co-op, cut a ribbon to formally open the new M&Co clothing section. He says whilst trading has been very challenging at the department store in recent years, there have been ‘increasingly encouraging signs.’
“Despite what has happened elsewhere, we have remained determined to improve our department store and our staff have worked extremely hard to make it more attractive to shoppers.
“This exciting development represents one of the biggest changes we have seen for years at the store.”
He added: “Like every other high street business we have to ensure we operate in the most efficient way, but I think it is clear that we are doing everything we can to ensure Tamworth remains a town with a department store at its heart. That is increasingly rare these days and visitors from further afield often comment on the value of that.”