PC world on the move as retail park owner emphasises commitment to town

A major retailer in Kirkcaldy will be vacating a unit at Fife Central Retail Park by Christmas.

Thursday, 4th August 2016, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:32 pm
The Kirkcaldy branch will be merging later this year

However, unlike Homebase, which left town last year with the loss of 30 jobs, PC World is set to merge with nearby sister company Currys to create a new megastore.

Both brands are owned by the Dixons Carphone group and no jobs will be lost as part of the plan.

The Press understands Currys will temporarily move to the existing PC World unit next month to allow for a major refit of the Currys unit.

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The new magestore is scheduled to open in November.

A spokesman said: “This is all part of making the shopping experience better and more convenient for customers and we’ve been working hard to ensure all our colleagues are fully informed and looked after.”

The plan will mean Hammerson, operators of the retail park, will be tasked with filling not just one empty unit, but two.

A plan to develop the former Homebase store by dividing it into five smaller units was rejected by Fife Council’s central area planning committee in June over fears it would impact negatively on town centre trade in Kirkcaldy and further afield.

However, two weeks ago Hammerson lodged an appeal in a bid to overturn that decision, emphasising the creation of new jobs and new retailers for the area.

A spokesman said: “Hammerson remains keen to invest in Kirkcaldy and further to lodging an appeal against the refused application is continuing to work with Fife Council to address the concerns raised by members.

“The proposals for a £10 million investment would reinvigorate the retail park, bringing new retailers to the town, a number of which we are already in discussions with to take space, and importantly it would provide a welcome boost to local employment in the area, with 200 jobs created.”

The Press understands the decision to merge PC World and Currys – while not uncommon across Britain – was prompted at Kirkcaldy after the new Next superstore became the focus for increased footfall in its area of the retail park.

Development of that area accelerated with the creation of the new Marks and Spencers foodstore nearby.

Since then the Press understands PC World – situated towards the end of the ‘strip’ next to the B&Q superstore – experienced a drop in browsing customers.