Legendary shoe shop to shut store for good as string of locations have already disappeared in 'end for high street' | The Sun
LEGENDARY footwear chain Clarks is closing another store in a further blow to UK high streets.
The retailer, which has more than 300 stores, has confirmed it'll shut for good at High Street in Newcastle under Lyme by the end of 2023.
It comes after Clarks announced that it'll pull down the shutters in High Street Inverness before the end of this month.
It'll also shut in Westwood Cross Shopping Centre in Kent in mid-November.
Several Clarks stores closed earlier this year too, with its branch in Fareham Shopping Centre shutting on August 5 and the Dundee store closing on July 25.
Before this, it closed the doors on two stores in Kent in Ashford and Gillingham at the end of 2022.
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Shoppers have reacted with disappointment at the Newcastle closure, with one writing on social media: "The end of the high street it's all gone now."
While another added: "Another one so sad."
And a third said: "I can’t cope with this."
A Clarks spokesperson told The Sun: "We have a strong duty of care to all our employees, and we are working closely with the store team as they now go through a period of consultation.
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"Customers can continue to shop from our full range of products online and at our nearby Clarks stores in Leek, Crewe and Nantwich, as well as our outlet store in Talke.”
The popular footwear chain was founded in 1825 and operated across over 1,400 stores and franchises internationally at its peak.
But as of July 2023, the brand had just 320 stores.
Clarks brought in management consultants McKinsey & Co to help with restructuring plans after posting a £82.9million post-tax loss in 2019.
It was then rescued from the brink of collapse with a £100million investment deal by private equity firm LionRock Capital.
A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) was agreed which saw the Clarks family lose overall control of the company.
A CVA allows firms that have run out of cash to look at ways to save the business, such as reducing rent rates with landlords.
Companies often agree to a CVA to avoid insolvency, which can lead to closures or the whole business going bust.
More than 50 stores were set to close following this announcement in November 2020 – but dozens more have shut since then.
All is not lost for shoppers though, as the retailer has also relocated and opened new shops in recent months.
The brand opened a new store on East Street in Taunton in April following the closure of its original high street store.
Clarks also opened up a new store in Newcastle's Eldon Square shopping centre on May 14.
Meanwhile, fellow footwear retailer Shoezone is pulling down the shutters on another store in its latest round of closures.
Plus, we have the full list of 78 shops closing this week including Wetherspoons and House of Fraser.
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The cost of living crisis on top of a rise in online shopping has made it tougher than ever for businesses to keep physical stores open.
Retailers and shoppers alike are also hit hard by stubbornly high energy costs and inflation.
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