The possible opening of a Bradbeers department store in the heart of Salisbury has been hailed as "fantastic news" by a local business.

On Monday November 23, the Journal revealed Smith and Bradbeer, who own the former Debenhams site on Blue Boar Row, would like to turn the building into their next Bradbeers branch, hopefully by the end of next year.

However, this is dependent on the economy and Covid situation becoming more stable.

Read more: Former Debenhams site could become new Bradbeers

The plan has been met with enthusiasm by the community in Salisbury, with one business owner saying a new department store would be "something to look forward to".

Rachel Tribbeck, who owns HR Tribbeck & Son on Bridge Street, said: "It's fantastic news, it's a really big boost for Salisbury. It gives us something to look forward to next year, something good to focus on."

Salisbury Journal: Rachel Tribbeck. Picture by Salisbury BID.Rachel Tribbeck. Picture by Salisbury BID.

Asked whether she was worried about such a prominent site remaining empty, Ms Tribbeck said: "It's not ideal but then there's nothing we can do about it. I take the attitute of it's not ideal but we can't change it in the short-term, we just have to carry on regardless.

"We still have some amazing shops in Salisbury and the city looks beautiful with the Christmas lights. You can walk around the market square and look at the lights without taking too much notice of the empty building there."

Having said that, with the news of Bradbeers potentially moving to Salisbury and the recent vaccine breakthroughs, Ms Tribbeck says she feels optimistic about the future and is very much looking forward to reopening her shop on December 2.

"It's three weeks till Christmas, we just hope we can make the most of it," she added.

"This year you can't dress it up, it's been horrendous and unprecedented to be closed for so long but we have to focus on the positives and make the best of it. 

"We can't have Christmas as we know it but Salisbury is doings its best to say 'let's have some enjoyment'."

The former leader of Salisbury City Council, Cllr Jeremy Nettle, also welcomed Bradbeers announcement.

He said: "It's very exciting. I was surprised they didn't move in straight away when Debenhams gave notice but this is great for Salisbury.

"Anything that brings people out and makes them come to Salisbury and increases our footfall and the length of time people spend in Salisbury is very important because then everyone benefits."