A WARM welcome has been given to the impending arrival of a national retailer.
Sports Direct has applied for planning permission to install new signs on the former WH Smith shop in Bognor Regis.
The site at the London Road precinct’s northern end has been empty since the bookseller and stationer moved to its opposite side last September.
But the unit with 4,546sq ft of ground floor selling space is set to be occupied soon.
Bognor Regis Traders’ Association chairman Chris Heaps said: “It’s great that a new business is moving into the town and is also taking up one of the larger units in the precinct. It will provide another reason for people to shop here and save them going elsewhere.
“It will also help to alleviate the situation with the rough sleepers around there.”
The well-established two hours’ free parking scheme was boosting the town by making it more attractive for businesses.
“We have anecdotal evidence it’s making a real difference with people popping into the shops rather than going to the out of town sites,” he said.
Sports Direct wants to put up five fascia signs - one large and internally lit and four unlit smaller ones. Arun District Council will decide.