Clothing retailer Next says more about its decision to leave Peterborough’s Queensgate
The retailer confirmed on Tuesday that it is permanently closing its two-story branch in Queensgate and hopes to redeploy staff.
Now the company has revealed the store is closing as its lease with the Queensgate center comes to an end.
He says the store will not reopen on April 12 when non-essential retailers are allowed to resume operations, as restrictions under Covid’s third nationwide lockdown are relaxed.
He also says he hopes to find another job for the 30 employees who work in the store.
A spokesperson for Next said: “Although the Queensgate store was to close at the natural end of its lease, which is in May, for practical reasons as there are only a few weeks left on the lease , the store will not reopen on Monday after the end of this current lockdown.
He added: “The store employs around 30 people, many of whom are part-time, and some can be employed at the two remaining nearby and unassigned Next stores at Brotherhood Retail Park and Serpentine Green.”
Peterborough MP Paul Bristow said: “This is a disappointing announcement and I hope the employees can be redeployed to other malls.
“My goal is to do what we can do to create more retail, entertainment and hospitality places and employment opportunities in the center of our city. “
Next has made no secret of the impact of the pandemic on how many more of its customers choose to shop online and its need to cut rents and costs at its stores across the country.
In a business update earlier this year, Next revealed, “Stores located in out-of-city business parks continued to perform 15% better than those in downtown and malls.
His full year results for 2020, released earlier this month, indicated he expected store sales to fall 34% this year, recording a loss of around £ 20million as he expected to make a profit of £ 560million from his online business, Lord Simon. Wolfson, chief executive of Next, also warned that he did not know how many stores the group would have in five or ten years.
He said: “These decisions are made store by store as the leases are renewed. But I can’t imagine why anyone would want to close a store that is profitable. Next’s departure is another blow to central Queensgate after department store chain John Lewis announced last month that its four-story store would not reopen on April 12 and would be closed permanently, putting 318 jobs at risk .
Managers at the Queensgate Shopping Center did not respond to requests for comment on any of the closure announcements.