Closure of ‘anchor stores’ in Bognor Regis would be a ‘big loss’
A business owner in Bognor has encouraged shoppers to support local after the news that two stores were set to close in the high street.
Up to 24,000 jobs were put at risk after EWM Group, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Peacocks and Jaeger, filed a notice to appoint administrators and warned of ‘significant cuts and closures’.
The national retailer blamed its downfall on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Closing down sales have begun this week at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks in London Road. Chichester’s EWM store in West Street is also set to close.
Former Bognor Regis BID chairman Paul Wells, who owns Unique Workwear in London Road, said the closures would be a ‘big loss’ for the town.
He said: “They are two anchor stores for the high street. It would be a great shame to see them close. “We have done a lot of work pre-Covid in Bognor Regis. It has taken a lot of work to attract more investment in the town centre and they were one of the last businesses to open here.
“Seaside locations tend to do quite well so hopefully a potential buyer will be able to keep both stores open.”
Mr Wells said people are becoming increasingly reliant on online shopping.
“It is affecting retail life,” he said. “If you can go out and support these shops, it should be encouraged.
“Covid[-19] has been a massive blow to high streets. If people want these businesses to stay, we have to support them.”
In a post on Facebook, Mr Wells added: “Sadly, Covid is going to take many retailers down with it.
“There’s not a huge amount we can do except do our best to shop locally wherever possible.”
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