Primark has announced plans to expand its Kingston store to twice its current size.The result will provide the Eden Street store with an additional 5,550 square meters of floor space on four different levels.
Should the plans go ahead, it will result in the demolition and redevelopment of the Quaker meeting house at 78 Eden Street.
The Quakers have previously announced they will be moving to a new building in Fairfield East, currently under construction.
They will move into temporary accommodation if plans take effect before construction is completed.
Primark’s success in the recession has been well documented, maintaining very good business while other businesses have struggled.
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Kingstonfirst, said: “Primark has performed consistently well in Kingston. Its business strategy appears to work across the nation’s high streets and particularly so during these tougher times.”
Asked if its success is detrimental to other retailers in the area, she said: “I don’t think they suffer. The town benefits from having a number of anchor stores to attract shoppers.”
This is backed up by a report from the Local Data Company, which listed Kingston’s high street among the best performing in the UK.
According to the report, town centre vacancy rates are running around 14 per cent in the UK last year, but Kingston was among those town centres scoring best, with a vacancy rate less than 10 per cent.
Ros Morgan added: “The town is trading satisfactorily, vacancy rates are low and footfall is outperforming the national average.”
Plans for the expansion of Primark are in a consultation period.