Hinckley’s past Britannia Centre occupants

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 5 July 2020

BRITANNIA CENTRE on Castle Street in Hinckley is one of the two main popular shopping complexes in the town, followed by Hinckley’s more recently-built outdoor shopping and leisure complex, The Crescent.

The Britannia Shopping Centre has been home to a fair share of quite a few different occupants over the many years that it has been open and trading, and in this article, we will be showcasing just a select few of them.

The Britannia Centre signage looking on from Castle Street (Mason Moore for Hinckley Free Press)

Argos

English catalogue retailer once operated from a unit in Britannia Centre next to O2 and Phonebox Gadgets, before they made the move over to The Crescent inside an empty unit in the Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The retailer made the move from Britannia Centre to Sainsbury’s in August 2017 after Sainsbury’s had successfully managed to buy Argos out.

The Ex-Argos space in the Castle Street-based leisure complex now sits vacant and empty, but it has been used for the Hinckley Bid arranged ‘Santa’s Amazing Grotto’ at Christmas time back in 2018 and 2019.

Argos in Sainsbury’s sits next to two retailers in their new home. Hair, nail and eyebrow specialists, The Beauty Lounge, and Timpson, who offer key cutting, engraving and shoe repair services.

Poundworld

Poundworld was one of the few pound shops that tried their hand at operating on Hinckley’s high street.

Similar brands have included the independently owned and now-defunct ‘Poundbase Plus’ and national discount chain, Poundland, located in The Crescent, however their business model has been moved on from the ‘Everything is £1’ mindset.

Poundworld moved into the Britannia Centre back in 3 July 2014 and sold everything from cheap confectionery, household accessories, car accessories and children’s toys.

Poundworld made the shock decision to stop operating back in July 2018, just four years after moving into the Centre.

Poundworld disappeared from high streets all around the United Kingdom after they fell into administration and collapsed as a company.

The discounter couldn’t be saved in a ‘rescue deal’, which left them with no choice but to shut down their high street stores.

Bakers Oven

The Bakers Oven was a British bakers with locations locally in both Nuneaton and Hinckley who were purchased and taken over by their main rival and competitor, Greggs, in May 1994.

The Bakers Oven in Britannia Shopping Centre was located next door to Boots. To reflect the acquisition and takeover from Greggs, the unit was rebranded with a Greggs storefront fascia, menu and redesign.

Because of this change, the area of Hinckley now have three Greggs locations. These include: Greggs Castle Street, Greggs Britannia Centre (Ex-Bakers Oven), and the newly-constructed Greggs opposite the Hansom Cab pub in Burbage in Burbage Retail Park.

Ethel Austin

Ethel Austin was a British womenswear store that had a location locally in Hinckley’s indoor complex of the Britannia Shopping Centre.

It operated around the time of the late 2000s to early 2010s, before being replaced by independent retail discounter Poundbase Plus.

Poundbase Plus closed in 2018 so the space sat vacant again until a new discounter named MaxiSaver made an agreement with the complex back in early June with Britannia bosses to take over the space in July 2020.

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