What does closure of Topshop mean for our high streets?

Topshop and Topman on Haymarket, Norwich. Picture: Bethany Whymark

Topshop and Topman in Haymarket, Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of jobs are set to go as Asos buys the Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge names but not stores across Norfolk.

fashion store

Miss Selfridge stores are to close but the brand has been bought by Asos. - Credit: Archant

This means although the brands will continue to be sold under Asos, the physical stores are set to close.

Just 300 employees are set to be retained by the online fashion retailer as part of the deal meaning many will lose their jobs locally.

And,  just as with Debenhams, it raises a question mark over what happens to the buildings occupying these retailers.

Undoubtedly, the crumbling of the Arcadia empire will leave gaping holes in high streets. 

However, commercial agents believe buildings will offer potential as mixed use schemes, with retail occupying some of the buildings and the rest converted into apartments or offices.

Other units in retail parks will come up for rental.

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In Norwich, the huge Topshop and Topman building in Haymarket is the only one owned by the firm itself, purchased for £12m in 2016. As a result, it's likely to go up for sale as the Arcadia assets are sold off.

Other brands snapped up by Asos have shops largely within commercial units in Norwich such as the Outfit in the Riverside retail park.

Miss Selfridge had a stand-alone unit in Chantry Place as well as concessions in Debenhams and Outfit, which announced it was closing down earlier this month.

In Great Yarmouth, Topshop and Topman is also in Outfit, Gapton Hall Retail Park. This units will go up for lease. As the brands' assets are liquidated, the leases could be re-sold for new tenants to occupy or the keys handed back to the building owners.

Lowestoft high street

The retail space formerly occupied by Burton in Lowestoft is available. - Credit: Archant

Some buildings occupied by other parts of the Arcadia crumbling empire such as Lowestoft's Burton are already for sale, leasehold.

A rental is available in 78-80, London Road North. The building was bought for £9.7m by a property investment firm in 2017 run by businessman Devji Meghani. He sold three leases, one now for sale vacated by Burtons which closed last summer.

In King's Lynn, the Victorian building with a Tudor style front, in 43-44, High Street, formerly occupied by Topshop, was turned into a restaurant in 2019. 

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