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Tunbridge Wells shoppers disgusted at the arrival of Poundland

Shoppers in Tunbridge Wells are at odds over the planned arrival of a Poundland store - after many hoped for a more 'upmarket' Waitrose.

The budget shop will reportedly open its doors in July, but its exact location is not yet known.

Since news of the new branch broke people in the town have expressed mixed views.

Poundland. Library image
Poundland. Library image

Many say Tunbridge Wells would be better off with a more high-end retailer or supermarket.

One local resident has taken to twitter and labelled plans a 'joke'. He said a Waitrose or H&M store would be more suitable.

The town is one of the few areas in west Kent without a Waitrose. The brand has a string of stores including Ramsgate, Ashford, Gillingham, Canterbury, Maidstone, Bromley, Paddock Wood, and Greenhithe.

A spokesman for the chain said it is still looking for possible opportunities in Tunbridge Wells after negotations with the owners of the former ABC cinema site fell through earlier this year.

He said: "It's no secret that Waitrose has a long-standing ambition to open in Royal Tunbridge Wells. We previously explored the possibility of opening a store with Bellhouse Joseph Holdings on the old cinema site, but were sadly not been able to agree a viable proposal, despite the best intention of everyone involved and the support of the council.

"We are grateful to those who have been championing Waitrose - it's incredibly encouraging to hear that we would be welcomed in the town."

Other residents have said the use of a vacant plot in the area is a positive thing and a branch nearby would save shoppers the travel to Tonbridge, where the nearest Poundland is located.

Twitter user Jed_Die joked Tunbridge Wells would lose its royal status after the store's arrival but suggested the former ABC cinema site should be used as a retail space.

Jessica Johnson added: "What a way to ruin a great and beautiful town."

In October last year the former M&S food hall in Sevenoaks' Bligh's Meadow was also set to become a Poundland store.

Public opinion was split by the announcement, with many fearing it would cheapen the town.

However, the building landlord changed his mind at the last minute and plans were scrapped.

Poundland is currently advertising for a store and assistant manager for the Tunbridge Wells branch.

What do you think about Poundland coming to Tunbridge Wells? Let us know below.

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