Demolition work has begun on a former sock factory in Hinckley which will become a Lidl supermarket. The site was being marketed by Leicester based commercial property agents Andrew & Ashwell for a freehold price of £1.5 million
Clearance work at the HJ Hall site – which produced socks for 130 years before ceasing production last year – is expected to last 15 weeks. The crew at the site in Coventry Road is set to complete work by Christmas Eve.
Competition from overseas, the loss of major contracts and changes in wage legislation were cited as the main reasons for the firm’s manufacturing demise.
However, bosses said warehousing, dispatch and distribution operations, as well as marketing, e-commerce, design and development would remain a local concern within new accommodation.
Last month, it was revealed budget supermarket Lidl was set to move on to the site, building a store to replace its existing shop in Hawley Road. Staff will relocate from the German firm’s existing store, with 10 extra jobs expected to be created by the move. The store will occupy 2,125sqm on the 2.25-acre plot.
Lidl UK’s regional head of property, Colin Rimmer, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve our existing store portfolio.
“We’ve seen incredible demand in the Hawley Road Lidl store so have decided to take this step to relocate and improve our offering in Hinckley.
“The team is very much looking forward to confirming a date for our public consultation day when we will outline our plans and get input from those who will directly benefit from the new store.”
It is not yet known how long the planning process will take or when the new store could open. The development marks the further redevelopment of Hinckley away from its industrial past.
The 70,000 sq ft Coventry Road factory had opened in 1977 and at its height employed up to 300 people. More recently, about 40 remained and the family firm, founded by John Hall, recognised it was simply uneconomic to maintain such a large building given the level of activity.
As the company finally wound down, a sale of office furniture and sock samples was held at the factory while an auction also took place.