Major stores 'queuing up' to take Carmarthen town centre units
BIG-NAME retailers are now queuing up to open stores in Carmarthen.
Such is the town's growing reputation as a shopping destination, the St Catherine's Walk centre is having to place high-profile stores on a waiting list.
The £74 million scheme filled all its units when shoe shop Hotter opened in December.
Manager Mike Pugh said several big name retailers wanted to move into town.
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One of them, coffee shop giant Caffè Nero, last week ditched efforts to move into St Catherine's Walk and is now moving elsewhere in Carmarthen.
The venture will create around 10 jobs.
Mr Pugh said: "Caffè Nero is now looking to move into the former Field and Trek shop in Lammas Street.
"I have had four big names waiting for space and Caffè Nero was one of them.
"They couldn't wait and needed to get into Carmarthen, which is good for the town. It shows the amount of interest retailers have in Carmarthen."
And it also emerged this week that the number of empty retail units in town was half the national average.
Manager of the Merlin's Walk shopping centre John Nash said: "There are empty shops in the town but compared to the national average Carmarthen is doing well.
"The average is 20 per cent of shops in a town can be empty now but Carmarthen is at 10 per cent."
No opening date has been set for Caffè Nero but it is expected to be over the coming months.
The unit has been empty for almost three months after Field and Trek pulled out at the start of December.
A spokeswoman for Caffè Nero said: "As yet we don't have a planned opening date as it is not due to open for at least another couple of months.
"In terms of jobs, on average, a new Caffè Nero creates roughly 10 new jobs."