High street chain closes store but others in Norfolk and Waveney survive
PUBLISHED: 16:09 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 15 January 2020
A high street chain with branches across Norfolk and Waveney has closed one of its stores - but four others remain open.
Women's clothing retailer, Bonmarche, collapsed into administration back in October, putting almost 2,900 jobs at risk around the country.
Administrators FRP Advisory said the move resulted from a "sustained period of challenging trading conditions".
At the time of going into administration, the company employed 2,887 staff - including 200 at its head office - and operated 318 stores in the UK.
Questions remained over the survival of Norfolk and Waveney's stores in Norwich, Dereham, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Lowestoft, but in November the Norwich branch, on St Stephens Street, began a closing down sale and plans were lodged to turn it into a restaurant.
Weeks later around 240 jobs were put at risk when FRP announced it was set to close 30 under-performing sites in the ensuing weeks.
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And now the Dereham store, on the corner of High Street and Wright's Walk, has fallen victim of the cost-cutting process having closed its doors for the final time on Monday, January 13.
Seven jobs have been lost as a result.
While the four other branches in the region are currently still open, closing down sales will continue at Bonmarche while talks progress with former sister company, Peacocks, who are looking to buy out the brand.
Peacocks has previously been named by FRP as the preferred bidder having considered a range of offers from a host of interested parties.
A spokesman for FRP Advisory said: "The remaining sites continue to trade while the performance of the business is under review.
"A significant number of the remaining trading stores are hoped to be part of a transaction with the preferred bidder, Peacocks, subject to the successful outcome of its due diligence process and negotiations with landlords."
Elsewhere in Dereham town centre, an empty unit remains at the former Shoe Zone building on High Street, but plans have been submitted to change its use from retail to restaurant.