Homebase joins M&Co in leaving Great Yarmouth
17:50 12 September 2012
GREAT Yarmouth’s under-pressure high street suffered another blow this week when it emerged that clothing retailer M&Co was shutting its King Street store.
TWO major retail names in Great Yarmouth announced this week they are shutting up shop.
It has emerged clothing retailer M&Co is shutting its King Street store, and home improvement and garden centre trader Homebase is closing its Pasteur Road branch.
The national clothing chain is the latest in a string of stores like Peacocks and Dorothy Perkins to shut long-standing units, knocking the town’s fashion offer and dealing another blow to a high street already under pressure.
Town centre manager Jonathan Newman said Yarmouth had been hit by a spate of companies coming to the end of their leases and opting to save money and close - although the reason for the M&Co decision was uncertain.
“They are thinking about ‘the now’,” he said. “They are not thinking about two or three years time, they are making sure they have got a business in two or three years time.”
Mr Newman hoped the large unit facing the busy Market Place would not be empty for long. However, rumour and speculation were rife, he added, that a bank was keen to join the drift from Hall Quay and was eyeing up the large site - although the move would require a change of use from retail to financial from planners and no application had yet been submitted.
“I would hope such a prime retail site would not remain vacant for very long. But in the current climate who can tell how long that will be?
“I keep hearing there are offers in on the Dorothy Perkins store but until a deal is signed nobody will risk exposing themselves,” he added.
He said he was surprised by the move because the store had reportedly traded well in the town.
Staff were told of the closure two or three weeks ago, although a final closure day has not been released. Posters remain in the windows appealing for Christmas staff.
Meanwhile the large Homebase store will be closing its doors on October 2o.
Twenty jobs will be lost, although a spokesman moved to reassure employees there were job opportunities available within Homebase’s parent company.
The spokesman said: “Discussions are taking place with colleagues to identify alternative working opportunities wherever possible within Home Retail Group.”