Enderby based Next has voiced criticism over delays it is experiencing in its plan to create hundreds of jobs by opening new stores across the country
The company wants to open up to 17 major units, combining fashion, homeware, gardening and DIY products under one roof.
Two prototype stores have already proved a success with another due to launch next spring – and bosses are keen to roll out the concept across the country. Securing planning consent from the relevant local authorities on some of the sites is being cited as the problem.
The firm’s finance director, David Keens, told local media:
“We are looking at up to 17 other sites and would like to open these over the next five years, creating hundreds of jobs,” he said.
“We have identified sites, we now need to talk to the owners of these sites. Most of them already have buildings on them, and most of them have the relevant permissions.
“The issue with some is it’s taking much longer than we would like to get through the council process and getting the permission to get these sites up and running.
“It’s well known there’s a difficult economic environment, so why should it take so long when you have a company that’s expanding and wants to create jobs?”
Mr Keens went on to say that the programme was the next big move for the company, with room for 20 units over the next 5 years.