High street clothing store New Look is set to close its Louth branch next week - just months after its future had appeared to be secure.
A sign was recently put up in the window of the Market Place store to reveal that the long-standing branch was due to shut down permanently on July 4.
The sign states ‘We’re Moving Out’, and invites customers to ‘drop by and see them’ before they move out in a week’s time.
On Thursday, a New Look spokesman confirmed that the store was indeed set to close down permanently, and that it would not be re-opening elsewhere in the town.
The spokesman declined to elaborate on when the decision to close down the branch had been made, or the reasons behind this decision.
The closure of a high street store will come as a surprise blow to the town, particularly as its future had appeared to be secure earlier this year.
Less than four months ago, New Look revealed a list of around 60 stores across the country which were being considered for closure in a bid to solve some of the company’s ongoing financial issues.
However, Louth’s branch did not appear on the list - leading many people to assume the town’s branch would not be at risk of closure.
Unfortunately, the retailer has suffered plunging sales on the high street and online over the last year.
New Look reported an operating loss of £74.3 million for the year up to late March, having made £97.6m profit in the previous year.
The company’s sales in the UK fell by 11.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis, accelerating from a decline of 6.8 per cent the year before - while website sales also slumped by 19.2 per cent.
Louth shoppers reacted with surprise and dismay following the news of the branch’s closure this week.
Many have speculated whether the store was a victim of the rise of online shopping, high rent costs, the retailer’s ongoing financial difficulties, the attraction of shopping centres and high streets elsewhere in the county, or an inability to match their competition in the fashion industry.
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