May 16 2012 by Sandy Kilpatrick, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
TWENTY-SEVEN part-time staff have been recruited to work in a new store in the Loreburne Centre in Dumfries.
Sports Direct have filled the vacant premises left over from the demise of Peacocks in January and are gearing-up to open “before the weekend”.
Seventy-seven eager job hunters were interviewed this week for a chance to work in the sports store before being whittled down to the final numbers.
Sports Direct’s arrival has delighted Jim Ireland, manager of the Loreburne Centre.
He said: “This is great news for the town centre and with Debenhams opening as well this is going to be a busy time all round.
“The nearest big sports store is JJB at the Peel centre.”
He added: “If they can get the merchandise on the floor in time they’ll open the doors on Wednesday or Thursday. They’ll certainly be trading by the weekend.
“There’s plenty of interest from retailers looking to trade within the shopping centre.
“We’ve got Card Factory moving into a bigger outlet within the Loreburne Centre and there’s a requirement for a double sized outlet as well. We currently don’t have two vacant stores beside each other yet.
“It would just be a case of knocking down some walls like HMV has done.”
Mr Ireland feels shoppers are too negative about the state of the High Street and says there have been major improvements in the past 15 years.
He said: “I get fed-up with people having a dig at the town. I don’t understand why. It’s changed in such a positive way since I first came here in 1995.
“It’s clearly not that bad. Some people just seem to have an axe to grind.”