December 3, 2020 11.30 am This story is over 41 months old

Jobs saved as Coneys set to buy Spalding department store

Hoping to reopen in early 2021

Lincolnshire firm Coneys Clothing Stores will buy and save a department store in Spalding which was due to close in the New Year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of the closure announcement in October, Hills Department Store also blamed the extension of Springfields Shopping Outlet after councillors approved plans for a major expansion, as well as “an unfortunate lack of investment or support from the council”.

Director Scott Crowson, of the Coneys Clothing Stores in Lincoln and Boston, will buy the business in the New Year once the legal process is completed.

This would save the jobs of all the remaining 25 employees at Hills Department Store on Broad Street.

All notices of redundancy have already been withdrawn.

Hills Department Store in Spalding.

A spokesperson for Hills said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to announce such good news before Christmas.

“Whilst there remains a long way to go to complete the deal, we are optimistic about the future and thankful that the buyer wishes to retain all our staff and has indicated that post-COVID he would anticipate looking to rebuild the workforce towards former levels.

“We are committed to working with Scott over the next couple of months to secure new stock for the store and make orders for the new year.

“We also are hoping to reopen the Riverview coffee shop in the store as soon as possible. A provisional date within February is when both parties hope that a sale can be completed.”

Mr Crowson has already had meetings with Lord Gary Porter, Leader at South Holland District Council, and received assurances for their commitment to the town centre.

He said: “The council welcomed our early discussions and were pleased to be consulted and have guaranteed their support and backing.

“The council hope that a relaunched Hills, once the legal formalities on the sale are complete, can provide a catalyst to give others the confidence to open and invest in the retail sector within Spalding town centre.

“Hills is anticipating a full relaunch in the spring with new suppliers and ranges throughout the store and expanding established brands already in situ.”