A DISCOUNT retailer is preparing to re-locate into York’s former Toys R Us store later this month in an expansion which is creating dozens of new jobs.

Home Bargains is to move from its existing building in Stirling Road, Clifton Moor, to the larger former toy shop less than a mile away in Hurricane Way, Clifton Moor.

The old Toys R Us store has lain empty since the retail giant fell into administration in March last year.

A member of staff at Home Bargains said the existing shop was due to shut on Friday, November 29 and the new shop, which would have a greater range of stock, was intended to open on Saturday, November 30.

She said staff at the existing store would move across to the new location, and some new members of staff had been recruited and more were still being recruited.

She could not say what would happen to Home Bargain’s old store in Stirling Road and added that the company’s other existing York store, at Foss Islands Retail Park, would be unaffected by the changes at Clifton Moor.

The Home Bargains chain was founded in 1976 by Tom Morris in Liverpool as Home and Bargain, and is the trading name of TJ Morris Ltd, stocking up to 4,000 branded product lines, and employs over 17,000 people.

The Press reported last year that the expansionary move into the old Toys R Us building was said by the discount firm to show a "commitment" to York, and the old building would get a £1.5 million revamp prior to it moving in.

Planning documents submitted to City of York Council said then that it would create new jobs, which was particularly significant at a time when the retail sector was experiencing a structural change leading to the loss of many household names.

The documents said Home Bargains was one of the UK’s fastest growing discount retailers which intended to continue its rapid growth.

As part of the revamp, the shopfront would be refurbished to create an improved entrance, and there would be 199 parking spaces including nine parent and child bays and 13 disabled parking spaces will be created.

This month’s relocation and expansion comes at a critical time for the retail sector in York, which has seen a series of store closures this year, mostly in the city centre, including LK Bennett, French Connection, Dorothy Perkins/Burton, Gap and Crabtree and Evelyn, with Debenhams due to close next month.

The Press also reported earlier this week that the Mothercare shop at Monks Cross was at risk of closure after the UK business was placed in administration.

The closures reflect a growing crisis affecting many shops across the UK caused by falling consumer confidence and growing Internet competition, which has led to rents falling and calls for cuts in business rates.