Shoppers cleared the shelves of a B&M store - meaning it closed a day earlier than planned. The store at Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Knowle was set to close for the last time today (March 29), but when Bristol World visited, the shutters were already down.
Inside, the shelves were bare and staff could be seen clearing up to mark a sad end to the first B&M store in Bristol. Next to the store is M W Fresh Foods, whose owner Will Appleby said: “It closed yesterday as all the stock was gone - people were coming in and clearing the shelves on Monday and yesterday.”
Mr Appleby, who is also closing his shop after 23 years on Saturday, added: “There were 10p stickers on the shelves, everything went. It makes sense to do that rather than get someone to come in and move all the stock away.”
Bristol World revealed in February that B&M was to close its home discount store. The store was B&M’s first in Bristol and its loss will be a blow to many people in the Knowle area who continued to use it up to closure.
In a statement on its website, the company apologised to customers. It simply read: “Unfortunately, your B&M Bristol - Knowle store at Broadwalk Shopping Centre will close on Wednesday 29 March. We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this closure.”
It is the latest shop to close at the run-down centre, which is subject of a major redevelopment plan to knock it down and replace it with around 800 flats based in several tower blocks, a cinema, small supermarket, restaurant, library and dentist surgery.
The planning application has been met by a strong campaign from locals who say it includes too many homes, and the proposed buildings are too high. A planning decision was due earlier this month - but has been delayed to a date yet to be fixed.
Today, the shopping centre was open as usual. The bingo hall and snooker club appeared busy at lunchtime, and there was a steady stream of people walking through the precinct where, sadly, there are many empty units.
The nearest B&M store to Knowle is at Imperial Park in Hartcliffe.