Bargain retailer Poundstretcher could be poised to move into the old Haldanes supermarket on King Street, it has been revealed.
The chain store confirmed this week it was searching for premises in Belper and sources said it was keen on the 20,000 sq ft shop, which has been empty since last June.
The Co-operative group, which has owned the building since 2009 confirmed it was under offer this week and said that a “national” brand was interested.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative said: “We are pleased to confirm that negotiations and discussions are still ongoing with a national operator as a potential occupier for the property although, until necessary legal work has been completed, we are unable to add anything further.”
Poundstretcher unveiled an ambitious national expansion strategy in April this year as it aims for a total of 900 UK stores.
The retailer made its first profits in six years in the year up to April 2, posting a figure of £1.4 million.
A spokesman for the company said: “We are always looking for new sites as part of our expansion plan. Belper is one of the areas we have been looking at.”
The details of the purchase are not yet known, although Poundstretcher would have to pay £151,000 a year to rent the property.
In May, officials at the Co-Op inspected the building’s foundations following reports that the vibration of trains travelling underneath on the Midland Main Line had affected them.
When the Haldanes superrmarket closed 40 people were made redundant. Many had worked at the store, previously a Somerfield, for years.
The empty store had once been linked with Wilkinsons, which already has a smaller-sized shop on King Street.
However, it is thought that the firm has now pulled out of any deal.