Hundreds turn out to see Poundstretcher open new Bargain Buys shop in Hawick

Staff at Bargain Buys Hawick at its official opening. Cutting the ribbon was manager Vicky Ballantyne, fourth from right.
Staff at Bargain Buys Hawick at its official opening. Cutting the ribbon was manager Vicky Ballantyne, fourth from right.

Hundreds of bargain-hunters converged on the Borders’ latest discount store as it was officially opened to the public this week.

There was gloom in the air just before Christmas when it was announced that the Original Factory Shop in Hawick’s Victoria Road was to close.

However, festive cheer returned soon afterwards when Huddersfield-based Poundstretcher revealed plans to take over the unit, securing the future of its nine staff and adding five more to the rota.

That new store, trading as Bargain Buys, opened its doors with much fanfare on Monday.

Entertainment was laid on, and there were bargains galore, with the first five customers through the doors being offered a black curved fire worth £300 for just £30.

Store manager Vicky Ballantyne, a company loyalist, was invited to cut the ribbon and declare the store open.

Vicky had previously worked for over two decades for Poundstretcher in Hawick High Street before taking over as store manager at the Original Factory Shop.

Vicky said: “It was a brilliant turnout at the opening, with well over 300 people coming in the morning and the tills were going crazy.

“I worked for Poundstretcher for 22 years and left four years ago to work for the Original Factory Shop.

“It closed on Christmas Eve so I applied to Poundstretcher again and got the job.

“The majority of the shop staff have come with me. There were eight who came over, and I’ve got 14 altogether now.”

Vicky, of Hawick, added: “Bargain Buys is completely different. The Original Factory Shop was clothing and shoes.

“The whole shop has been transformed. It’s just a completely different company.”

The Original Factory Shop, known as Tofs for short, closed at Christmas following a dispute with the building’s landlord.

Established in 1981 Poundstretcher is one of the UK’s leading variety discount retailers for food, toiletries, garden essentials and home-ware brands.

Last year, after retail rival Poundworld was shut down, Poundstretcher began to open former stores under the Bargain Buys brand name to seek to fill that gap in the market, and Hawick’s, its only outlet in the Borders, is the latest in that trend.

A former Poundstretcher shop in Hawick High Street closed at the end of 2014.