Shutting up shop: The businesses which have disappeared from our high streets in 2017
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
Whatever the sector, 2017 has been a tough year for high street traders. Consumers have less money to spend, which ultimately means businesses do too – despite growing competition for staff and increasing commodity prices.
Research compiled by the Local Data Company for PwC showed the East of England suffered the heaviest losses in the first half of the year with 222 high street stores closing in the period. Here are some of the firms which have closed doors on our high streets in 2017:
Budgens: Branches of the grocer in Plumstead Road, Norwich and Watton were closed in February and March after the chain’s owner, Food Retail Operations, put it into administration.
Store Twenty One: The fashion chain closed its shops in Sheringham, Thetford and Great Yarmouth after tough trading conditions hurt revenues. Other fashion retailers, such as New Look and Jaeger (see below), have been suffering from decreasing sales.
Multiyork: Despite improving financial fortunes the furniture firm, which has its head office and factory in Thetford, was put into administration in November. DFS has offered to take on the leases of eight stores – although none are in East Anglia – and has also bid for company assets including the brand itself, meaning the Multiyork name is likely to disappear from the high street.
Norwich and Peterborough Building Society: Its owner Yorkshire Building Society announced it was removing the brand from the high street in January, with 28 branches closed, others rebranded with the parent company name, and a handful taken on by the Nottingham Building Society.
LloydsPharmacy: The chain, which has more than 30 branches in Norfolk and Suffolk, announced in October it would be closing 190 stores nationwide – including in Thetford – due to changes in government policy.
Jaeger: In April the fashion retailer announced that 20 stores, including one in Cambridge, were to close with a loss of 165 jobs. A further 12 jobs will be lost at the firm’s King’s Lynn distribution centre.
Jones Bootmaker, Norwich: The footwear retailer closed its branch in Chapelfield, along with one in Ipswich, after a rescue deal resulted in several under-performing stores being shut.
Prelude Records, Norwich: After more than 30 years of trading this specialist classical music shop in St Giles Street – one of few remaining in the country – closed on March 30.
Greenwoods: The menswear outlet went into administration in September. It was purchased by Versatile International Trading, which decided to close 22 of its 65 stores, including in King’s Lynn and Lowestoft.
Linens Direct: An online and store retailer with 35 branches, the Essex-based textiles wholesaler went into administration in July and ceased trading. Twelve staff were made redundant at its Colchester and Chelmsford stores.
iCandy: The greeting cards and gifts chain shut four of its 14 stores, with 22 confirmed job cuts, after going into administration in May. But its stores in the East of England were said to be continuing to trade well.