Bosses of the new department store which is set to open in the former Allders building have said they are in Croydon to stay.
Minerva, the landlord of the site, officially announced today that the entire floor space of the 530,000 sq ft store has been signed up by Croydon Village Outlet.
The company, which is linked to Metro Outlet based in Newcastle, aim to bring more than 650 jobs to the town.
Minerva said the new letting marks a positive step for Croydon, following the closure of the 150-year-old Allders store in September last year.
Croydon Village will sell designer brands at discounted prices as well as host a large food hall. The aim is to open the store in September.
The new store has been hailed as a major boost for employment in the town centre, but questions have been raised about how it will fit into Hammerson and Westfield's £1bn redevelopment of the town centre The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture from the two retail giants, was unaware of the deal between Minerva and Metro Outlet to take over the retail space.
As reported in the Croydon Guardian this week, jobs lost through the closure of Allders could find employment in the new store.
Commenting on the letting, Croydon Village Outlet Managing Director, Marco Cash, said: “The former Allders site is a prime and ideal location to launch Britain’s first inner city off-price retail outlet.
“We are investing millions of pounds refitting and stocking the store to create a shopping destination which the Croydon people are proud of and that will attract people from outside the town.
“We’ll create hundreds of jobs and hope that many of those that lost jobs following the closure of Allders will find employment with us, and help us build an attractive retail offering.”
When asked about his plans for the future, Mr Cash said: “We are hoping to be part of the big picture, we want to stay here for the foreseeable future. We are offering permanent jobs so we are here to stay.”
Tim Garnham, Joint Chief Executive of Minerva, said:“We are pleased to have secured Croydon Village Outlet as a tenant for the former Allders site, which is a landmark building in the heart of Croydon.
“As a responsible landlord, we’ve acted in the best interests of Croydon and its residents by seeking a letting that ensures this building does not lie dormant and helps to serve the town by providing jobs and a retail offering.”