By Nicola Croal
Broadwood Retail park finally opened it’s doors last month, bringing more than seven retail unit stores to Cumbernauld.
These include Aldi, The Food Warehouse, M&S Foodhall, Matalan and Home Bargains. The retail park will also feature a Tim Horton’s drive thru and a Gulf filling station.
The Food Warehouse was the first store to open in August. The relatively new store, owned by Iceland launched in 2014 and is likely to be an exciting addition to Cumbernauld.
M&S also opened their doors at the beginning of the month. Aldi recently announced they will be opening at the end of October, along with Home Bargains.
The latest addition to the retail park will open at the weekend as Pets at Home begin trading this Friday.
Plans to further extend the retail park were announced yesterday as the opening of a Black Rooster Peri Peri was confirmed to open in 2020 via Cumbernauld Community News’ Facebook page. Other confirmed units include Greggs, German Donner Kebab and an Indigo Sun following the 8500 sq.ft extension according to NovaLoca.
The construction planning for Broadwood’s £20m according to the Insider retail park led by L&S Broadwood began in late 2016. The retail park is thought to bring about 200 jobs to the local area according to Cumbernauld News.
Alan Masterton, the SNP Local Councillor for Cumbernauld North told me about how the retail park will be beneficial for the local area.
”Apart from anything else I think it will beneficial just by the point of view of variety and easier access to a wider range of shops. At the moment, in Cumbernauld there is two big Tesco stores and an Asda which tend to dominate the food retail sector so I think new shops like Aldi and M&S just wides up the range for more options.”
When asked whether the park will affect other food retail stores, Masterston replied: ”from my point of view, competition and variety can only be a good thing for Cumbernauld. If it does negatively affect them it will hopefully make Tesco and Asda offer more to local shoppers.”
The SNP councillor believes that the opening of the retail park will have a positive impact overall on the community as more jobs are created and new shoppers will be brought in.
”It will help to bring in people from immediate surrounding areas like Kilsyth, Moodiesburn, Muirhead and Chryston. There is a new retail park on their doorstep, more jobs, more variety, possibly more people coming to Cumbernauld rather than commuting to Glasgow for their shopping. It also may inspire people to stay in Cumbernauld and there are so many jobs associated with it as well.”
There are already big food retail competitors in the Cumbernauld area, including two Tesco stores, the Cumbernauld Extra and the smaller Tesco Craigmarloch store, as well as an Asda. The opening of the retail park may see those stores struggle to compete in the upcoming months.
Matthew O’Brien, Ambient Trading Manager for Tesco Craigmarloch said that competition should be viewed as healthy,
”’I think the competition will be good for us and it will bring new customers to the area. We’re also in a position where we have new houses being built in the surrounding areas which is continuing to expand so there will be plenty of custom to go around.
O’Brien added: ”I think our customers are very loyal anyway. We have clubcard, which has been going for years and years and is still very successful to this day. We have a variety of different offers and the fact you can do a full shop from homeware to any grocery items and fresh food so we can maybe offer some shopping experiences that other shops can’t.
”At the end of the day, there are opportunities there for us to embrace the extra custom brought to this area. We’re in a position where we’re ready for it. ”
However, Tesco Craigmarloch checkout operator, Claire Halleran, said that she has already started to notice a difference at the store.
”I think that I can already see with some the stores opening that we are getting a big quieter.
”The excitement of new shops might take some of our customers away but it’s hard to tell until it actually happens.
She added: ”Working on the checkouts I can definitely see a change in the footfall of people coming in especially during periods when we would usually be busy. ”
Meanwhile social media users have taken to Twitter to express their excitement about the opening of some of the retail stores.
Chains which are yet to announce their opening dates include the Tim Horton’s drive through and Matalan.