B&M Wolverhampton Mander Centre has arrived. When BHS went bump and closed its doors in 2016, it was a sad day for many towns and areas. BHS was a great all round store and was always popular at Christmas for its sheer variety. All was not lost in Wolverhampton as Debenhams was on the way – but as we now know, Wolverhampton’s new Debenhams, opening just two years ago this month, will be closing early in the new year, with tycoon, Mike Ashley’s new Fraser’s department store set to replace it.
The Mander Centre, however, has upped its game in the last few years and is retaining a steady footfall. Recently, it temporarily installed retro arcade machines and has held its very own Comic Con, which proved to be very popular.
Last week saw B&M Wolverhampton Mander Centre open in what was the first floor of BHS – giving it an entrance both on Dudley Street and on the upper floor of the Mander Centre. The store is employing 45 local people and is the third branch of B&M to open in the area after Bentley Bridge, Wednesfield and its Bilston Road store.
Wilkos to open in November
Wilko is to open underneath B&M in what was the ground floor level of BHS. The new Wilko will be bigger than the existing one on St George’s Parade and is set to open on 15 November at 9am.
Along with the popular Matalan store that opened earlier this year and favourites H&M, the Sony Centre, Clarks, New Look and Ryman, there is enough available to keep people coming back to the Mander Centre at the moment. The question is, can Wolverhampton as a whole buck the trend of store closures? Just last week, KFC in Queen Square closed its doors. With financial uncertainty ongoing, will Wolverhampton, like cities of a similar size, be able to retain or improve its footfall? We hope so – but we sorely need the likes of Westside to make it happen.