Second store to close as chains consolidate
TWO more fashion retailers are to close in Ipswich it has been revealed - and it has also been confirmed that the shopping centre in which they operate is up for sale.
Miss Selfridge and Warehouse are to cease trading from the unit they currently share in the Tower Ramparts centre this week, with their closure following that of Oasis in Tavern Street earlier this month.
It is understood that staff at Dorothy Perkins have also been told of plans to close in December but a spokesman for the owner, Arcadia, said a decision has yet to be confirmed.
The Oasis, Miss Selfridge and Warehouse brands will still be represented in the town through concessions in Debenhams and BHS as part of a national strategy by Arcadia, which owns brands including Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, and Aurora Fashions, which owns Oasis and Warehouse.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Tower Ramparts centre – which has changed hands several times since opening in 1986 – has been put up for sale by owners Kandahar Real Estate. Kandahar spokeswoman Amanda Hill said the centre has been on the market for the “last couple of months” and had attracted “some positive interest”.
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“We have got a few tenants leaving due to their leases expiring,” she added. “The reality of the situation is that we have the scheme (centre) on the market at the moment.”
But Tower Ramparts manager Mike Sorhaindo said that it was a case of “business as usual” for the operation of the centre.
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“The departure of Miss Selfridge and Warehouse is unfortunate,” he said. “They are casualties of the current economic climate and reflects a lot of big retailers’ decisions to consolidate their brands.”
However, he said the exit of the two brands would give the centre a “positive” opportunity to attract another big name.
Richard Turner, property surveyor for town centre Business Improvement District company Ipswich Central and Ipswich Borough Council, added: “We should view this as an opportunity for Ipswich. The availability of modern retail units in this highly sought-after prime location means that expanding brands such as SuperDry who have been looking for space in the prime pitch may now have an opportunity to be able to gain their desired representation in the town.”