A landmark Spalding store is to be saved, along with 25 jobs, thanks to a buy out deal announced today.
Hills Department Store was set to close in the new year but the owners have reached an agreement with Scott Crowson of Coneys Clothing Stores in Lincoln and Boston, who will buy the business in the new year.
All 25 Hills’ employees will transfer to Coneys and it’s been confirmed that notices of redundancy have already been withdrawn.
A spokesman for Hills said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to announce such good news before Christmas.
“Whilst there remains a long way to go to complete the deal, we are optimistic about the future and thankful that the buyer wishes to retain all our staff and has indicated that post-COVID he would anticipate looking to rebuild the workforce towards former levels.
“We are committed to working with Scott over the next couple of months to secure new stock for the store and make orders for the new year. We also are hoping to reopen the Riverview coffee shop in the store as soon as possible.
“A provisional date within February is when both parties hope that a sale can be completed.”
Mr Crowson has already had meetings with Lord Gary Porter and others within South Holland District Council and has received assurances as to their commitment to the town centre.
He said: “The council welcomed our early discussion and was pleased to be consulted and have guaranteed their support and backing.
“The council hopes that a relaunched Hills, once the legal formalities on the sale are complete, can provide a catalyst to give others the confidence to open and invest in the retail sector within Spalding town centre.”
Coun Porter said he was delighted with news that a business leader with a strong track record for quality and innovation has agreed to buy Hills Department Store.
He said: “This is excellent news, particularly for those whose jobs will be saved.
“Scott is a renowned fashion entrepreneur and has exciting plans for the future of the business. The council will continue to work closely with Scott and we look forward to seeing the business flourish over the coming months and years.
“The council is also committed to working with other like-minded traders to help try and revitalise the town centre following the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic.”
Hills is anticipating a full relaunch in the Spring with new suppliers and ranges throughout the store and expanding established brands already in situ.