Argos store in Castle Mall to close - putting 40 jobs at risk

Posters for Argos' Black Friday event at the Castle Mall store. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Posters for Argos' Black Friday event at the Castle Mall store. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Castle Mall is set to lose another store as Argos announced it will close its branch on March 30 - putting 40 jobs at risk, it is understood.

Staff were informed this morning the store would be shutting, with delivery moving to the Riverside branch.

One member of staff, who has worked at the Castle Mall branch for around a year and asked not to be named, said colleagues were 'resigned' to the closure.

'It makes business sense,' he said. 'That is the way retail is going. People aren't shopping in public any more - they are shopping online.

'I know a lot of people remember when Argos first opened there and it used to be really busy. We had a pretty good Christmas, but after that you get 10 months of nothing. There is also a new Argos which opened at the Sainsbury's in Pound Lane in mid-2017.

'The staff are pretty resigned to it. There are a lot of temporary staff there, but others who have been there a long time are taking it hard.'

Argos was acquired by Sainsbury's in September 2016, and a number of stores have been moved into supermarkets across the country.

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The Castle Mall branch is not thought to be being relocated, but will close in less than three months.

An Argos spokesperson said: 'The decision to close a store is never taken lightly.

'We constantly review our estate to ensure that we have the right stores in the right locations for our customers and we are proposing to close our store at Norwich Castle Mall.

'We will make every effort to support our colleagues in finding alternative roles wherever possible.'

Rob Bradley, centre manager for the Castle Mall, said: 'We are disappointed that Argos have decided to leave and are sympathetic to their staff affected. We had been working hard with Argos to retain them and realign their store to meet modern requirements.

'Castle Mall has exciting leisure and restaurant projects lined up for 2018, which will introduce new tenants to the centre, bringing new names to Norwich.

'Our thoughts are with the Argos staff at this difficult time and we will do our best to support them with finding new employment.'