Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group still “opening a store in Bedford”

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Former BHS store empty
The former BHS store has been empty since August 2016 but shop fitting for another store is now taking place.

Rumours about the future of the former BHS store on Midland Road in Bedford’s town centre have resurfaced, with many concerned the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group have pulled out of the town, but it appears that’s not the case.

Speaking exclusively to the Bedford Independent, someone close to the company said: “They are still 100 per cent behind opening a store in Bedford,” adding, “shop fitting is taking place as we speak.”

At present there are plans to open a Days Department Store, but the Bedford Independent understands the company may look at opening another one of their brands if they think it would work better.

Bedford’s BHS store closed in August 2016. In May 2017, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group announced they were taking on the building.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is owned by self-made billionaire Philip Day who owns a number of high street brands alongside Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Days Department Store, including Peacocks, Jaeger, Jane Norman, and Austin Reed.

Mr Day has previously been hailed as the man who could save Britain’s high streets thanks to the time the company takes to find the right deal, rather than the fast expansion approach employed by many other high street brands.

A spokesperson previously told the Guardian: “As we’re a private family business, we’d rather take the time to get things right, than get them done quickly.”

“We have the flexibility to take our time – and we do not chase short-term results or profits. We’re not in a rush because we’re trying to build something that will last generations into the future.”