'Town is dying a death' say shoppers as department store chain marks another branch for closure | The Sun

SHOPPERS have taken to social media to express their sadness as a big department store chain marks another branch for closure.

The Original Factory Shop is shutting another store this time in Norfolk.

The chain has marked its Diss shop in Victoria Road for closures after being open for more than a decade.

A spokesman for the store told the Eastern Daily Press: "Despite our best efforts to secure the future of The Original Factory Shop in Diss, sadly the decision was taken out of our hands to keep the store open.

"We have been consulting with colleagues and are working hard to support all of those affected. 

"We'd like to thank all our customers for their support and look forward to welcoming them at any of six stores located within 20 miles."

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Shoppers took to Facebook to share their sadness about the closure.

One person said: "So not just town that's dying a death, now Vince's Road businesses are going.

"If big companies can't sustain how are all the small independents supposed to continue?"

Another said: "Maybe there are simply too many 'bargains' shops on the streets… Too much competition."

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"Yeah people are now hearing about it. I'm like, I knew ages ago," said a third.

A specific closure date for the Diss store has not been confirmed at this stage.

The discounter sells a range of bargain items from homeware to stationery.

It has been running since 1969 and has around 190 stores across the UK.

The Original Factory Shop has already pulled the shutters down on three stores in:

  • Chepstow, Wales
  • Mildenhall, Suffolk
  • Bodmin, Cornwall

The chain previously closed two stores back in May this year too.

Stores shut in Bideford, Devon, on May 19 and in Stourport at the end of May.

However, the chain has also opened more than a dozen new department stores between August and October this year.

New shops have opened in the following locations:

  • Kirkintilloch – opened August 24
  • Stonehaven – opened August 31
  • Blandford Forum – opened August 31
  • Haddington – opened September 7
  • Wetherby – opened September 7
  • Nairn – opened September 14
  • Ashbourne – opened September 14
  • Castle Douglas – opened September 21
  • Penrith – opened September 21
  • Inverness – opens September 28
  • Attleborough – opens September 28
  • Ayr which – on October 5
  • Ringwood – opens October 5
  • Perth – opens October 12
  • Lanark – opens October 19
  • Peterhead – opens October 26

Why are retailers closing branches?

The cost of living crisis, stubbornly high inflation and energy costs are taking their toll on retailers.

Shoppers have been cutting back spending, while the cost of actually running a store has also increased, meaning some outlets have struggled to keep going.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this summer found the UK had lost 6,000 stores over a five-year period.

Several major brands have also collapsed and closed stores for good.

Wilko's fall in August marked the biggest British retail collapse since McColl's plunged into administration in May last year.

Paperchase collapsed into administration at the end of January this year and all 106 stores closed for good.

Scottish clothing brand M&Co and wellies retailer Joules were among a host of other familiar brands that went bust in 2022.

But shoppers still have reason to be cheerful as other retailers are actually expanding this year.

The Sun recently revealed discount retailer Costco is expanding in the UK and is planning to open 14 more warehouses over the next two years.

Bonmarche is opening at least seven new stores after filing for administration in 2019, while The White Company is due to open new stores in October and November.

Once-huge bakery chain Patisserie Valerie, which also collapsed into administration and closed most of its stores, has started reopening branches, as revealed by the Sun.

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Wilko shops have already started returning to the UK high street after the chain collapsed earlier this year.

We also recently revealed bakeries Wenzels, Greggs, Dunkin' Donuts and The Cornish Bakery are all in the process of expanding in the UK.

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