Shoppers have spoken of their sadness after Boots decided to shut up their two Hull city centre shops for the final time on Tuesday.
The health and beauty store made the difficult decision earlier this year to close both its Whitefriargate and Prospect Centre stores. But it is not the end of the retailer in the city,
Boots – which has been open in Hull for 116 years – ceased trading at the stores on Tuesday, May 14 and will open the brand new store on Wednesday, May 15.
Despite the move, however, some shoppers were not happy Boots was leaving Hull’s high street.
Simon Taylor, 53, from Bridlington, said: “I come from Bridlington and go into Boots now and again and it’s a shame that it’s moving. They shouldn’t have got rid of Marks and Spencer’s for a start, it’s a bad move. This is now going to be another empty unit.
“They should move it at all really and nothing should be moved out of the city centre. There’s not really that many shops in St Stephen’s, I don’t really go in there.”
June Billany, who lives near the city centre said: “I really only go in Boots for the pharmacy but it is a shame they are moving it. Everything seems to be heading that way out of town.
“I tend to go shopping around Whitefriargate and the Boots units there and in the Prospect Centre are nice and big. It is a shame.”
Liza Sherwood, 53, from Hessle, said she looks forward to a walk around Whitefriargate and prefers the high street to St Stephen’s.
She said: “I do like it in there but there isn’t really a lot else going on, you couldn’t spend a day shopping there like you used to be able to down Whitefriargate. It’s a shame that not many of the shops are staying there and I think more should be done to save it.
“I do go into Boots now and again, more so around Christmas time, or it is a place I tend to pop in and I’ll still go to the one in St Stephen’s but it’s just a shame there will be these two big empty stores out here.”
However, some shoppers were happy the stores were moving into St Stephen’s and said it’s location makes life a little easier.
Helen Wilson, from Noddlehill, said: “I knew it was moving and it is a shame about the Prospect Centre but I do think Boots will be good in there. It’s near the Interchange so is easier for people to get to and I do like to go in there if I’m shopping.”
Pauline Tattersfield, from Hudgell Park agreed and said: “I didn’t know it was moving in there but I am happy about it.
“I do go into the centre quite a bit and when you’re going in there and then into town you do have to backtrack so it is good it will be altogether.”
Julia Hornsby from Kingswood added: “I get the bus into town and tend to go straight to St Stephen’s if I need anything as the big Tesco is there. Sometimes you have to walk a long way out of the way just to get to places like Boots so it will be so much easier to have it all in the same place.
“I’ve heard about some of the brands going in there so I’m really excited.”
The new store in St Stephen’s is set to be one of 24 shops across the country to be a part of Boots UK’s “Beauty Reinvention” transformation programme, which will see Boots become the first premium high street retailer to remove traditional beauty counter and replace them and trending zones, discovery and live demonstration areas.
A variety of health services will also be available in the store, including an in-house optician and a HearingCare centre.
Kirsty Cook, the store manager at Boots Hull, said: “We are very excited to welcome customers into our new and improved Hull store, which will introduce more beauty brands and provide new health services, all on one floor.
“The new store has created eight new jobs so not only are we looking after the health of the community, we are also having a positive impact on the local economy.”
Marie Wilson, area manager at Boots UK said: “Boots has been in Hull for 116years and this new store brings to life our new vision for beauty at Boots, as part of our exciting plans to develop our stores to meet the life changing needs of our customers today. We’re really looking forward to seeing our customers enjoy this new offering, and all the great new beauty brands we are introducing.”
Jim Harris, the centre manager at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre said he is looking forward to bringing Boots to the centre.
He said: “We’re always looking for exciting brands to bring to St Stephen’s and the new flagship Boots store is a perfect fit. With it’s outstanding range of health and beauty brands, I’m sure it will be a popular choice among our shoppers.”
The new Boots Hull will officially open at 8.30am on Wednesday, May 15, with a ribbon cutting. The first 100 customers through the door will receive free goodie bags that will include a selection of exciting new products.
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