A regional daily has poked fun at a toy shop chain due to open on its patch – weeks after it denied it had any plans to do so.
Blackpool daily The Gazette first learned of retailer Smyths’ plans to open a store in the town back in December after inspecting planning documents.
But when the newspaper approached the company for a comment, it was met with a flat denial.
This week journalists got their own back by with a tongue-in-cheek report on the company’s announcement that it would be opening in the town after all.
Parodying Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear’s slogan ‘to infinity and beyond,’ the paper headlined its report ‘to insincerity and beyond.’
The new 23,000 sq ft store up, to be built on the site of a former soccer centre, is due to open in April.
Deputy editor Andy Sykes said: “We were first contacted by upset parents concerned about the closure of the football facility. They told us staff had been made aware it was to be taken over by a toy firm.
“We checked council planning documents which proved the firm, Smyths, had indeed applied. Furthermore, the company was advertising online for a Duty Manager.
“So we were a little bit perplexed when we were told there was no plans for a Smyths toy store on the site. Despite highlighting the planning permission and job advert, the company maintained it knew nothing about it.
“When they got in touch this week to say it was moving here after all we thought we would have a bit of fun.
“The excuse for this big fib was ‘We have a number of stores in planning and our property team do not like to officially announce store openings without confirmed access and opening dates.’
“All rather pathetic really so we thought we’d have a gentle poke at their expense – not least because parents who we originally spoke to knew the real story more than a month ago.”
Added Andy: “Designer Kimberley Mogg at the Sheffield hub did a great job and it lifts what otherwise may have been a page with a dull file shot of the exterior of the building.”
Smyths Toys has 85 stores nationwide.