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Northern company linked to Mint Quarter

PUBLISHED: 00:15 17 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

LIVERPOOL-based department store TJ Hughes could be the cornerstone of proposals to build the Mint Quarter, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The fast-growing company has identified Ipswich as a potential site for a new store and is following developments at the Mint Quarter with interest.

LIVERPOOL-based department store TJ Hughes could be the cornerstone of proposals to build the Mint Quarter, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The fast-growing company has identified Ipswich as a potential site for a new store and is following developments at the Mint Quarter with interest.

It held preliminary discussions about moving to the town before when Helical Retail was hoping to develop the site.

And property director Richard Foggin told the Star today that it would be interested in talking to the new developer of the Mint Quarter, Shearer Property Group.

Mr Foggin said: "We are hoping to expand significantly over the next few years - there are 200 sites across Britain that we are looking at.

"Certainly Ipswich is an area we see as having great potential for us."

TJ Hughes specialises in selling a wide range of goods at low prices - at discounts of up to 70 per cent.

Lines include clothes, household goods, electronic equipment, and cosmetics.

Mr Foggin added: "Several years ago we were in the early stages of discussions about going into the Mint Quarter.

"That all went quiet, but we are aware that it has just been revived and we are certainly interested in talking to the new developers."

Although most TJ Hughes stores are based in the north of England and the midlands, the company has also expanded into the south of the country.

Over recent years it has moved into Romford, Watford and Crawley - in Romford it moved into a former C&A store.

Formerly owned by sports retailer JJB, the company was the subject of a management buy-out 20 months ago and is aiming to expand across the country.

The new Mint Quarter development is expected to have a department store at its heart alongside four other large stores.

Argos is already hoping to move to the site, and both Woolworths and JJB will have to move out of their current premises because that is part of the Mint Quarter estate and is due to be demolished when work on the new shopping area gets underway.

It now seems as if the department store and three of the potential large tenants are already in place - which could give the Mint Quarter plans the boost they need to go ahead.

N What would you like to see built at the Mint Quarter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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