FOUR new independent shops have opened in the Arndale Centre.
Earlier this year the Centre suffered multiple shop closures as La Senza, Hawkins Baazar, Early Leaning, Game and Mothercare all shut, leaving empty premises in the town’s shopping heart.
Concerns were raised about the vacant units but things are now looking up.
Work is underway to get River Island open soon and other local traders have relocated or opened a second shop in the Arndale.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd is now delighted to see the arrival of four new shops, all run by local business people, introduced under a localism initiative led by the Arndale Centre.
The new shops are Inspired by Brufords, Honey, The Very Nice Handbag Company and Funky Viking.
For Ashley Pugh, Inspired is the second shop to open in the Arndale Centre and a third store for the town.
It is also the second store for The Very Nice Handbag Company whose owner Bob Smith has a another shop in Cornfield Road.
It is a first store for Paul Andrews, owner of clothes store Honey, and Funky Viking owner Georgina Bauer, whose store offers children’s haircuts and children’s clothes and toys, having moved from Grove Road.
Mr Lloyd said, “This is very positive news for town during a time which is still economically challenging for all businesses. In addition, we are looking forward to the opening of River Island in the very near future.”
Eastbourne Arndale Centre manager Bill Plumridge said, “We are delighted to welcome four new stores. The stores are so different and bring varied choice to our customers.”
Tim Tradewell, chairman of Eastbourne’s Independent Retailers’ Association, said, “Shoppers want to see shops that are different to the national chains and this ensures we have a great mix locally.”