Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Shrinking Wickes makes way for The Range in London Road

Time was I could go for a walk and fall in the door of my local B&Q, meaning it could serve as my ‘parts bin’. While it was never cheap – buying the odd screw or whatever one at a time in a plastic bag is never as cheap as buying in bulk or at trade prices – but it’s handy if you can finish a job that’s run into an unexpected problem. Prior to that, it had been known as Dodge City, but was taken over by B&Q’s masters.

Then a huge Wickes was built and opened along the road, followed by a giant B&Q Warehouse a little further away, and we lost our local B&Q.

After lying empty for a time, the building was briefly re-let, but was eventually left derelict, demolished, and the site cleared.

While the large Wickes remained, whenever I went for a walk and dropped in for a look, I always wondered where their business came from. There was never more than a handful of people wandering around a very large warehouse, and it was packed with stock, and was serviced by a huge car park that was always empty, a few dozen cars and vans at most.

Shrinkage

I dropped in last Thursday, to pick up some paint samples and leaflets… and got a bit of surprise.

It wasn’t shut, but had shrunk drastically to fit into something like a third or a quarter of its original building!

Range Wickes

The Range and Wickes (which used to be the whole building)

The part it had vacated had signs up for something called The Range, but there was no further info to be seen, and the front was closed and shuttered.

It was odd, despite the loss of so much floor space, wandering around the revised shelves, the store still seemed to have much the same range of materials on show. Possibly this just confirms how over-sized the original warehouse had been. Or I have just forgotten quite a lot.

The Range

By pure chance, I spotted a news article about The Range in Friday’s news: The Range expansion ‘to create 6,750 jobs’

And the place opened the same day:

Range Wickes 2

Opening The Range

I didn’t go on opening day. Apart from simply not knowing it was due to open, such events are just too busy and mad.

I did wander along for a look on the following day, and to see if they had any lawn weedkiller, which strangely seems to have all but disappeared from all other shops at the moment.

Place was packed, and I found it a bit odd to be wandering around a store that stocked most of the stuff I would have to travel into Glasgow to find, yet now I can get almost as easily as falling out of bed and rolling along the road.

As this is potentially convenient, I guess it will close in a few months – maybe not.

I even got some lawn weedkiller!

Admittedly not the stuff I wanted (I wanted to cover all the lawn, using dilutable weedkiller that can be sprayed or watered over a large area), but I wasn’t complaining since I got the last two bottles of spray that they had in stock, and there was £2 off each bottle as an opening offer, which was almost half price.

It will be interesting to see if this store survives, as there are no other retail outlets nearby (not counting Wickes’ corner), and the surrounding land has been on offer for retail development for decades, with promises, but never any takers.

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August 17, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , ,

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