THE doors have opened at TJ Hughes' new department store in St Helens, with queues forming outside the venue in Church Square shopping centre this morning.

TJs has relocated from the Hardshaw Centre to Church Square as part of the regeneration plans for St Helens town centre.

Town centre transformation

Next year - once all the traders have relocated - the Hardshaw Centre is set to be demolished to pave the way for redevelopment.

The opening of the new TJs, ahead of the Christmas shopping period, will aim to boost footfall to Church Square, where a number of stores have moved to as part of the town centre transformation plan.

A number of traders have told the store that the closure of Wilko in the autumn has had a negative impact.

St Helens Star: Queues outside the new store before openingQueues outside the new store before opening (Image: Church Square)

'Maintain a strong presence'

The new store is in the unit that had previously been occupied by Poundland and BHS, close to River Island and Boots.

Speaking on behalf of TJ Hughes, chief operating officer Jason Harmer, said: “We are extremely pleased to be opening a new TJ Hughes Store in St Helens.

"Anyone who knows St Helens will appreciate that the town is undergoing a dramatic transformation and, as a business that has always sought to maintain a strong presence in Merseyside, we’re proud to be playing our part in that.

St Helens Star: Team TJs prepare to welcome customersTeam TJs prepare to welcome customers (Image: Church Square)

"Our relocation will hopefully benefit all of the retailers in St Helens and help the local shopping environment to thrive as we all come closer together.

"We are excited for the future and look forward to our continued partnership with St Helens.

"Our TJ Hughes store will still offer big brands and discount prices across home furnishings, men’s fashion, ladies fashion, electrical, kitchen, luggage and seasonal departments.

"Not only that we are opening the store just in time for Black Friday and for Christmas so our customers won’t miss out on our best offers.”

St Helens Star: The mayor cuts the ribbonThe mayor cuts the ribbon (Image: Church Square)

Mix of retailers

Steve Brogan, centre manager of Church Square Shopping Centre, added: “We are really pleased to be consolidating the retail assets in St Helens at Church Square, and believe that TJ Hughes will complement the mix of retailers at the Centre and will be a wonderful addition to the centre.”

Church Square shopping centre believes TJ's move "demonstrates a real desire to retain the much loved department store in the heart of St Helens".

The department store, which emerged in Liverpool in 1912, has been a fixture of high streets since then, maintaining its Merseyside roots.


In a statement, Councillor Kate Groucutt, cabinet member for inclusive economy, business and skills, on behalf of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Its opening will cap off a year of renewed confidence in the shopping centre which has seen a number of new openings alongside relocations from Hardshaw Centre as we prepare for works to start on our ambitious and exciting regeneration plans next year.”