Monday, May 27, 2024

‘Another lovely shop gone’ cry parents as chain with 70 stores to close branch

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PARENTS have revealed their heartbreak after a huge childrenswear chain announced it will close one of its shops within weeks.

JoJo Maman Bebe has around 70 stores cross the country in cities like London, Nottingham and Sheffield.

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JoJo Maman Bebe is closing its store in East Grinstead, West Sussex

It sells everything from maternity clothes, baby and childcare clothes and products.

But parents in in East Grinstead, West Sussex, will soon need to find a alternative children’s retailer as the chain is set to close its store in the town on May 25, staff confirmed to The Sun.

Shoppers have flocked to social media to share their sadness over the decision to close the site.

One Facebook user said: “It’s going to be a ghost town before long.”

Another cried: “Unbelievable – another lovely shop gone!”

A third added: ” Very sad for the staff and town.

“Will be nothing left. No decent shops.”

And a fourth wrote: “What a shame!

The Sun has contacted JoJo Maman Bebe for comment.

“I have bought lovely clothes for my grandson more than once from this shop and the staff were very helpful.”

Toys R Us and other brands that are making a comeback

As well as having branches across the country, JoJo Maman Bebe is also available to order online through its own website and through Next.

The fashion giant took a stake in the baby retailer in early 2022.

JoJo Maman Bebe isn’t the only shop that’s been lost from the streets of East Grinstead in recent weeks.

Clarks closed its branch in the town in March, leaving shoppers devastated.

Family-run tailoring business Broadleys is set to close after over 128 years of business.

Plus, Greggs closed its store in London Road, East Grinstead in February.

Why are retailers close shops?

Empty shops have become an eyesore on many British high streets and are often symbolic of a town centre’s decline.

The Sun’s business editor Ashley Armstrong explains why so many retailers are shutting their doors.

In many cases retailers are shutting stores because they are no longer the money makers they once were because of the rise of online shopping.

Falling store sales and rising staff costs have made it even more expensive for shops to stay open. In some cases, retailers are shutting a store and reopening a new shop at the other end of a high street to reflect how a town has changed.

The problem is that when a big shop closes, footfall falls across the local high street, which puts more shops at risk of closing.

Retail parks are increasingly popular with shoppers, who want to be able to get easy, free parking at a time when local councils have hiked parking charges in towns.

Many retailers including Next and Marks & Spencer have been shutting stores on the high street and taking bigger stores in better performing retail parks instead.

Boss Stuart Machin recently said that when it relocated a tired store in Chesterfield to a new big store on a retail park a half a mile away, its sales in the area rose by 103 per cent.

In some cases stores have been shut when a retailer goes bust, as in the case of Wilko, Debenhams Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Paperchase to name a few.

What’s increasingly common is when a chain goes bust a rival retailer or private equity firm snaps up the intellectual property rights so they can own the brand and sell it online.

They may go on to open a handful of stores if there is customer demand, but there are rarely ever as many stores or in the same places.

IN OTHER NEWS

It’s not all bad news for the high street, as several other retailers and hospitality venues have plans to expand.

Beer giant Heineken announced plans to invest £39million to help reopen 62 previously shuttered British pubs.

Aldi has announced that it will open 35 new UK stores.

The openings form part of Aldi‘s long-term target of 1,500 stores in the UK.

The supermarket is set to invest £550million in expanding its UK footprint this year alone.

Aldi said each new store opening will create around 40 new jobs on average.

Asda has been opening hundreds of convenience stores in recent months as it looks to rival major players Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

B&M plans to open “not less than” 45 brand new stores across the UK in each of the next two consecutive years.

The parent company of BonmarchéEdinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) and Peacocks, Purepay Retail Limited, has said it wants to open 100 new high street stores over the next 18 months.

It has yet to give the exact locations where it will open the 100 stores or when they will open.

One of the UK’s favourite bakery chains, Greggs, has exclusively revealed to The Sun plans to open more outlet branches by the end of 2025.

Home Bargains, which was running just under 600 branches as of last June, has said it wants to “eventually have between 800 and 1,000 retail outlets open”.

The major discounter has stopped short of saying when it wants to reach the 1,000 store target, however.

Primark is also opening new branches and investing and renovating more than a dozen of its existing shops.

Screwfix is set to open 40 new stores nationwide as its owner, Kingfisher, seeks to expand the DIY brand’s national presence.

The brand opened two new stores in March, and a further three new shops will open this month.

Tesco has revealed plans to open 70 more stores across the UK over the next year as part of major expansion plans.

WHSmith has turned its focus to the travel side of its business, with plans to open new sites in airports, railway stations and hospitals.

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