Published: 13:32, 05 June 2020
| Updated: 13:53, 05 June 2020
A furniture chain is moving into a former Argos store which has sat abandoned for two years.
HomePlus had been trading from a huge site in Beaver Road, Ashford, but is now preparing to open in New Rents.
Signs are going up at the town centre spot today and owner Martin Rose says he is preparing to open this month.
He was forced to leave his Beaver Road site in March as the former B&Q store is going to be demolished to make way for the 'Ashford Shard' 16-storey tower block plan.
Mr Rose says the ex-Argos unit will be half the size of his previous store, but will continue to offer same-day delivery.
"It will be a showcase store similar to what I have at the Dockside Outlet in Chatham," he said.
"I have been trading in Ashford for almost 30 years and I definitely don't want to move out of the town - I am an Ashford man.
"Everyone who works for me is local - they all live in the town or the villages and it has always been that way."
Argos left the town centre in June 2018 to set up a smaller store inside Bybrook Sainsbury's on the Warren Retail Park.
Since then, the site has been advertised by Stafford Perkins but has sat empty for 24 months.
The prime New Rents spot previously housed decorating specialist Fads and a Superdrug store but was knocked into one when Argos arrived in Ashford in 1996.
Mr Rose says his HomePlus shop will be "Covid-compliant" when it opens this month.
He added: "It enables us to continue to trade in Ashford, supporting our customers and maintaining our business - it is as simple as that.
"It is smaller than what we have been used to, but customers who have bought from us before can continue to do so.
"We are the last independent furniture store in the town.
"Now Ashbury Furniture has gone and the Hythe Road Furniture Store store has shut, there's nowhere else other than us."