A host of chains are making the move away from Chichester’s high street.
Following Thorntons closing on Sunday, fellow big brands Mothercare and Argos have confirmed its stores will move out of the city centre.
PamPurredPets in Southgate will also shut in September, having been taken over by Pet’s Corner, it has also been confirmed.
Argos will close its Southgate store on May 23 and move into Sainsbury’s in Westhampnett Road, with all staff transferring, the company said.
Staff at Mothercare in East Street were told last Wednesday the shock news that it will shut at the end of the month.
A spokesman said: “Mothercare Chichester will close on Wednesday, May 31 2017.
“We will be emailing our customers in the local area to advise of the changes and provide details of the nearest store, Mothercare Havant.
“We greatly value all our customers in the area and would like to thank them for their continued loyalty and support for Mothercare.
“Whilst we regret the closure of the store, it is part of a larger transformation plan for our business.”
With Next having closed its men’s store in March and Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe going earlier this month, it means six chains will have left the high street within seven months.
The move has been blamed on a change in shopping habits as well as the emergence of out-of-town retail on the outskirts of Chichester.
Land for the second phase of Barnfield Drive has now been cleared, though no brands have yet been confirmed.
At phase one, Iceland, Halfords and Wickes are open with the delayed Aldi superstore set to open in June.
When planning permission was granted for Barnfield Drive in September 2014, retail expert GVA predicted it would cost the city’s high street £20m over five years.
Many think GVA’s prediction that it could ‘become a competing shopping destination with the city centre’ is already true, with Sports Direct failing in its bid to move there.
The owners of David Messam cited the free out-of-town parking as a factor in it closing this December.
With the likes of John Lewis, Currys PC World and Screwfix, as well as several huge supermarkets, just off the A27, many are choosing to avoid the parking fees of the city centre.
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