Sadness at latest Lowestoft town centre store closure
- Credit: Mick Howes
Discount retailer Poundstretcher looks set to close a prominent town centre store next week.
Store closing signs appeared at the Lowestoft branch on London Road North, with "20 per cent off everything" offers now running.
Having been based at the large former Woolworths and QD Stores outlet since October 2016, the bargain chain is preparing to close its doors - with sources stating that it would be closing after "next Wednesday."
While Poundstretcher did not respond to this newspaper's request for comment, and the closing date for the Lowestoft store has not been confirmed, a source revealed the branch is "definitely shutting".
With the retailer using a company voluntary agreement (CVA) to slash rents by up to 40 per cent at 84 stores, at the time its restructuring partner KPMG said that the future of a further 253 of its 450 shops was set to be decided "depending on the commercial merits of each store", after a six-week negotiation period with landlords.
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Now, there looks set to be another vacant shop on the town's high street, with business leaders expressing sadness.
The latest bodyblow to beleaguered businesses in the town centre comes less than two months after the closure of the McDonald's restaurant had left a major site prime for redevelopment on London Road North.
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Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision - the town’s business improvement district (BID) - said: “We are really sad to hear of the closure of Poundstretcher and our hearts go out to the hardworking staff there.
"This is a prominent spot in a good position and so we hope this will be filled again soon.
"There is a huge opportunity there, and Lowestoft Vision will be on hand to provide all the support that we can."
With East Suffolk Council having liaised with Lowestoft Vision and developers over the McDonald's closure, of the latest developments a council spokesman said: “The news that the Poundstretcher store in the town centre is closing reflects the continuing changes to the retail industry throughout the country.
"To address these changes, East Suffolk Council developed the Town Centre Masterplan to provide a long-term vision for how the town would develop over the next 10 years."