MYSTERY surrounds the future of a Newport High Street jeweler as a national supermarket plans to take over his store.
Following the news Tesco will move to the Isle of Wight county town, a question mark has been raised over his plans for his store building.
In plans submitted to Isle of Wight Council, the supermarket giant is looking to bring 35 and 36 Newport High Street together – the now empty but still open Laura Ashley store the H Samuel store.
In planning documents submitted by Tesco’s planning officers, ROK Planning, they describe the store as “formerly used” by H Samuel.
However, the Newport High Street store is still open, with staff working and products available for purchase and may now be under threat.
Store staff said they weren’t told anything and are still unaware of the plans.
A spokesperson for Samuel H. did not confirm the future of the store and, pressed to respond, said he would not comment further.
In a statement, they said: “Our stores remain central to our long-term growth strategy and we continue to invest in them, ensuring they are in locations where they best serve our customers, including the Isle of Wight, in tune with their demands, including the many customers who are starting their online shopping journey.”
In the row of five units on Newport High Street, H Samuel is just one of two stores currently occupied – the other being Cherry Godfrey.
The three empty units include the former stores of Laura Ashley, Animal and Carphone Warehouse but this last unit has been empty since the phone shop moved with only pop-up shops and exhibits filling the space.
If the planning application is granted by the town hall, the two stores could be joined, the internal partitions being removed to create an open floor space.
Comments on the app are now closed, with the Isle of Wight Council should make a decision by the end of the month.