Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Everything is grim’ say shoppers as high street fashion retailer with 250 branches to close ‘smashing’ store

SHOPPERS have reacted with shock after a high street fashion retailer abruptly shuts another store.

The retailer with 250 branches has confirmed it’s pulling one of its shop’s shutters down for good in the summer of 2024.

Matalan is set to close store in Ayr, Scotland this coming summer

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Matalan is set to close store in Ayr, Scotland this coming summerCredit: PA

Matalan will close its store in Ayr, Scotland in the coming summer, although the exact date hasn’t been revealed.

It is reported that the landlord intends to move into the space themselves and have opted not to renew the lease.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “We can confirm that our Ayr store will close in the summer as the landlord has opted not to renew our lease.

“Our first priority is supporting our colleagues. We are working closely with all those affected and where possible will offer them alternative positions in our local store network.

“Our full range of products will still be available via our website, and in our Kilmarnock and multiple Glasgow stores.

“We would like to thank all of our customers in the local community for shopping with us.”

Shoppers have taken to social media to share their sadness over the decision to close the shop, that some had described as having “smashing” prices.

One person wrote: “God everything in Ayr is so grim these days. Such a shame!”

Another one pitched in, saying: “We are definitely going to be a ghost town it’s so sad we used to have a great wee town.”

The other customers have reviewed the shop positively, recalling their experience.

One person said: “Love a wee Matalan shop. Something for everyone, and there’s always a cheeky wee bargain hiding somewhere in the store!

Victoria’s Secret store in Bond Street London closes

“My favourite store is the Ayr one, staff are so friendly and helpful.”

Someone else added: “Great clothing and household items.
Smashing prices. Friendly staff.”

It comes after Matalan closed three branches since last September.

The fashion retailer has previously shut its branch in Leytonstone after trading for two decades.

Meanwhile, shoppers in Renfrew, near Glasgow, were left devastated in September after the Blythswood Retail Park store closed.

The branch launched a 30% off everything sale before shutting for good on September 30.

Plus, Matalan is set to shut a branch in Leeds, Yorkshire, on February 24, according to local news reports.

Why are retailers closing stores?

Retailers have been feeling the squeeze since the pandemic while shoppers are cutting back on spending due to the soaring cost of living crisis.

High energy costs and a move to shopping online after the pandemic are also taking a toll and many high street shops have struggled to keep going.

The high street has seen a whole raft of closures over the past year and more are on their way.

Sales volumes dipped by 3.2% in December, data from the Office for National Statistics suggests, down from a rise of 1.4% a month before.

Peacocks – a major fashion retailer – once had more than 400 stores across the UK but has closed down half of them in a major blow for shoppers.

However, it has been slowly reappearing on the high street, building its portfolio back up to around 350 stores.

In October last year, the chain revealed it had plans to open seven new stores across WalesEngland and Scotland.

Recent figures from the Centre for Retail Research reveal over 10,000 shops closed for the last time in 2023, and almost 120,000 jobs were lost across the sector.

That said, the figures are lower than they have been in recent years, with over 150,000 retail jobs lost in 2022.

Meanwhile, despite the backdrop, it’s not bad news for all retailers and some are opening stores across the UK.

Primark is to open five new shops starting in weeks as it promises “bigger and better” stores.

This means Primark will reach a total of 195 stores across the UK.

A supermarket giant is set to open 110 convenience stores this month as part of huge expansion plans.

Asda will convert former Co-op and EG Group sites into Express stores as it aims to become the second largest grocery retailer in the UK.


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