After much anticipation, Next has announced that its relocated store at the Interchange Retail Park will open to customers at 8.30am on Monday (12 April).
The 28,000 sq ft mega store takes the place of the former Toys R Us store, which has been empty since the business collapsed in 2018.
A new 12,000 sq ft furniture and homewares department will sit alongside the men’s, women’s and children’s wear and there will also be a coffee shop on site.
Mamas and Papas is opening a 1,500 sq ft concession in store. And the first 50 customers on Monday will be rewarded with a free goodie bag.
Since the closure of Bedford’s town centre and Rope Walk Mothercare branches, this will be welcome news to new and expectant parents.
Mamas & Papas will stock a range of travel systems, nursery furniture and children’s clothing and the concession will provide in-store experiences such as personal shopping appointments, car seat consultations and fittings as well as click & collect.
Nathan Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Mamas & Papas, said: “It’s been a challenging year for retail, so it’s great to be opening a new space.
“Our research shows that the Bedford area is underrepresented when it comes to nursery brands and so we’re confident we’ll see significant demand from the local community.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming the first customers through the doors, and to supporting all new and expectant parents through the journey ahead.”
Staff in the store have been busy preparing the new site for their first customers on Monday; the first time non-essential shops will be allowed to open since 19 December.
Store manager, Andrea Lane, said the staff were looking forward to seeing customers shopping and those coming for click and collect.
The launch of the new Next store comes hot on the heels of the announcement that B&M have invested in a new store in Bedford town centre, and a new bar and restaurant will be opening later this year at Riverside Bedford.
However, the long-term future of the town centre branch of Next is not known.
New road layout
Customers visiting the retail park are reminded that a new road layout is in place and should follow signposts for Interchange Retail Park West.
The new entrance to the park is off the B530 on Polo Field Way. The old entrance to the park is now an exit only route.