Blackpool set to lose Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Topman stores
Blackpool’s Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Topman stores are to close in January, dealing another blow to the town’s retail offer.
The stores are part of the Arcadia Group owned by controversial retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green.
The group said that the lease on the building in Victoria Street had come to an end but it was choosing not to renew it.
The blow comes as a new retail survey for accountants PWC shows the scale of the crisis on the UK's high streets with
The group reported this month a £170m loss and warned that a restructuring programme announced in June which will see 90 stores closed, might not guarantee its survival.
It said it had seen a 4.5 per cent fall in revenue and operating profit was £62m, down from £107m the year before.
The group has negotiated a CVA to deal with its huge debts and has tried to decrease the cost of leases nationally.
A spokesman said: “As a business we continually review our store portfolio and, as part of this, the lease for the Topshop Topman and Miss Selfridge Blackpool stores will not be renewed and will cease trading on January 18, 2020.
“The businesses have endeavoured to offer store staff affected by the closures other employment options within the Arcadia Group. Customers can still visit the Topshop Topman and Miss Selfridge Preston stores or shop online.”
A spokesman for the shop workers union USDAW said: “The scale of store closures we have seen is devastating, not just for the workforce, but also for our communities and town centres.
“The Government needs to show that it takes retail jobs seriously by listening to and acting on workers’ concerns. It must address the growing crisis on our high streets, as we have called for through our ‘Save our Shops’ campaign.”
Blackpool’s high street is one of the worst hit in the first half of the year according to a report for PwC by the Local Data Company. It showed 2,870 stores closed in the UK in the first six months.
The research blamed growth in online shopping, shift to in-home leisure and heightened restructuring activity.
It said Blackpool was one of the worst towns in the region for shop closures with 11 closing and just three new ones opening in the first half. Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester only saw more closures with 13, 36 and 12 respectively.
Neil McTiffin, PwC’s retail leader, said: “Openings across the region quite simply aren’t replacing closures at a fast-enough rate.
“The reality for many of us is that we now prefer to shop online and increasingly eat, drink and entertain at home. As a result the high street is having to adapt to an overcapacity in retail and leisure space resulting from these channel shifts.
“The key for retailers and leisure operators across the North West is to continue looking at their businesses - including their store portfolios - to make sure they have a strong brand,product offering and essentially a clear proposition.”
Coun Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said: “The latest round of Arcadia closures is symptomatic of what is happening on High Streets across the UK. Blackpool is not immune to those retail pressures.
“It does, however, reaffirm the strategy that we adopted more than 12 months ago in that we have to find new ways to reinvent the town centre so that it is not overly-dependent on the retail offer.
“Initiatives such as the development of the new conference centre and hotels, the attraction of large numbers of office workers into Talbot Gateway and the creation of new leisure-based assets are fundamental to the long-term future of the town centre.
“It is our intention to maximise Government funding streams such as the Future High Street Fund and the prospective Town Deals to accelerate those plans.”