A FASHION chain with dozens of branches is closing one of its stores in weeks as residents brand it the “end of an era”.
Jack Wills is pulling down the shutters on its shop in Bell Street, St Andrews, Scotland, next month.Jack Wills is closing its last remaining Scottish branch[/caption]
Local residents have shared their dismay at the store’s closure on Facebook.
One said: “End of an era,” while another added: “This should not need to happen. It does not need to happen.”
Meanwhile, staff at the store are said to be furious and were left in tears after being told the news it will close.
They said: “Staff didn’t even get five minutes to think when they were told to start setting the shop up for the closing sale.
“Staff are very angry and were crying all morning.
“Not knowing was the worst. They just wanted transparency.”
It comes after Jack Will’s was bought out by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, part of the Frasers Group, in August 2019.
It was founded in 1999 as a single shop in Devon and its clothes became popular in the mid-2000s.
But it lost its appeal in the years that followed as sixth-formers and university students turned to grungier styles.
In March 2020, it announced it would permanently close nine stores, just days after revealing five would shut.
Branches in Abersock, Aldeburgh, Dartmouth, St Ives and Rushden Lakes were all impacted.
The St Andrews store was also earmarked for closure, however a lease agreement was agreed with the landlord which saved the store.
House of Fraser, owned by The Fraser Group, has also announced closures in recent months.
The branch in Solihull closed on August 28 while its Guildford store is set to shut on September 30.
Both stores have launched 20% closing down sales to clear any leftover stock.
And in May this year, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group threatened to axe 200 jobs in a bid to cut costs across the business.
The Sun approached The Frasers Group for comment.
Why are retailers closing stores?
It’s not just Jack Wills closing stores in 2023 with a number of other retailers struggling to keep branches open.
Consumers have been increasingly turning their attentions to online shopping and away from physical branches.
High inflation since 2022 has seen shoppers with less expandable money in their wallets and purses too.
That, combined with high energy and wage costs, has seen a number of retailers closing branches.
Hopes to save hundreds of Wilko stores from closing are fading too, after a bid by the owner of HMV failed.
It’s not all negative news though – some retailers have been opening branches across the UK.
A huge bakery chain that closed 170 stores after collapsing into administration is set to reopen branches.
Meanwhile, homeware chain The White Company is opening five new branches over the next three months.
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