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Fears for Lichfield store after reports Debenhams will close 50 shops

Retail bosses in Lichfield will be watching closely after reports Debenhams is planning to close 50 stores across the UK.

The department store is expected to record a £500million loss when it publishes annual results, according to the BBC.

The company operates a store in the Three Spires Shopping Centre previously occupied by TJ Hughes, but has not yet confirmed which of its outlets it intends to close.

Lichfield will be hoping to retain its flagship retailer following the news that Marks and Spencer would be shutting the foodhall it operates in the city after the failure of the Friarsgate scheme to go ahead.

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8 Comments

  1. Philip John

    25th October, 2018 at 9:09 am

    What’s worrying about this is what Debenhams’ CEO had said about some of these stores. He’s saying they’re in locations that aren’t viable. That’s pretty much what M&S have already stuff. And we know that friarsgate fell apart partly because there wasn’t enough interest from retailers.

    All this points to Lichfield being a place that isn’t of interest to the big retailers. It begs the question what is the council’s vision for Lichfield? Are they going to continue to pursue a modern retail posting on the face of ask these signs?

    If Lichfield can’t support this kind of modern retail what are its strengths and what is the council’s plan to use those strengths to help Lichfield thrive?

    Does it even have a plan?

  2. Christine Rapley

    25th October, 2018 at 9:24 am

    People who voted Leave were largely ignorant of the consequences. Lichfield voted Leave by some margin. A conservative city. Business failures such as Debenhams are a direct outcome of the economic downturn caused by Brexit. 2 1/2 years on from the EU referendum and I think the £ has lost about 16% value against the Euro and will continue to slide as long as Brexit continues. M&S Food Hall closure probably has as much to do with Brexit as the Friarsgate scheme failure. The Conservative government does not act for the benefit of the people. Our safe seat Tory MP Michael Fabricant is a Brexiter who has attended ERG meetings. These are the right wing element of Tory party that has driven Brexit and is forcing Theresa May to accommodate their ludicrous wishes. The No deal scenario is frighteningly likely and clock is ticking. We are at about 11pm now. There will be food shortages and looting no doubt should there be a no deal. Marks & Spencer Food Hall will probably not be one of our shops by then. Such a loss to our once thriving city. If you vote Tory you support the ruination and wreckage of our country. There will be a lot of empty shop premises in Lichfield if Brexit goes ahead. M&S Food Hall made Lichfield City Centre a decent place to shop. Many people if they can afford it, will probably turn to Tamworth for shopping as there are larger shops like the full size M&S. Such a shame to see our city decline. If Debenhams goes along with M&S Food Hall there will be less reason to shop in Lichfield.

  3. John Griffin

    25th October, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Lichfield’s strength lies in tourism, leisure and satellite businesses as well as non-retail. Rebuild the centre and Friarsgate as York style shopping with affordable flats above. Remove all plastic signage and create a signature look to harmonise with the older streets. Open the cycle ways, open the blocked countryside paths, rethink the whole concept away from money in Tory supporter pockets. And spend the properly proportionate amount on Burntwood, centred on Chase terrace, with a new cycle/walk path through to Chasewater from a leisure facility with proper shops, cafes, a square etc.

  4. Philip Allso

    25th October, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    It is amusing that those who chose to vote remain put themselves on some sort of moralistic high ground. The majority who voted to leave are apparently ignorant and all our ills are down to them making the wrong decision. There are things that have come to light since the referendum like the Northern Ireland border issue. Much has been made of this but it is a situation that existed long before Brexit. The final agreement will not be determined by it’s resolution, and nor should we allow it to be.
    The fate of high street shops lies firmly in two factors. The changes in online retailing and the savings to be made, along with the protracted austerity which has depleted people’s savings and increased their debts. Eventually there was bound to be consequences and we are seeing the start of these. It’s called cause and effect. The cause we know and the effects we are seeing.
    Belonging to a controlled market has limited our trading abilities. The economic situation will stabalise once we establish trade on a broader front. Business on the continent will still want to trade with us and will find a way to do it. As for high street shops, perhaps the super stores have lost their appeal anyway. The new generation shop in a very different way than their parents did. As in all business you adapt or perish. There are many pre Brexit examples to prove this is far from uncommon.
    How the Lichfield District Council are able to respond to this a worrying point given their recent history.

  5. Christine Rapley

    25th October, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Many people who have lost their jobs – and jobs are going all the time now – rightly put it down to Brexit. Brexit is the cause of the loss of investment in the UK and also of the sliding value of £. People voted for Brexit thinking that we would get more trade and less bureaucracy. And the promised £350m per week for NHS. None of this will come to pass. And the problems arising are many of them unsolveable. There is no solution to the Irish border problem. The Leave side had and have no plan. Brexit is insane nonsense dreamt up by exploiters. The EU is not our problem. It’s the exploiter Tory government and our rigged voting system. FPTP is not used in almost any other developed country. It’s the reason UK is in the mess. Because we do not have a functioning democracy. The jobs lost in the car and manufacturing industry along with pharma are all going to be the result of Brexit. Not a moralistic high ground. A sane rational ground that takes into account the vast majority. We have a diminishing welfare state, all public services creaking along. And disaster ahead. UK has barely prepared for a No Deal but that’s the most likely outcome. Dover can’t cope and neither can any of the ports. We don’t produce insulin or many vital medicines in the UK. We utterly depend upon the world’s largest trading bloc. Anyone now who supports Brexit has something to gain personally or they are ill informed. All of the government’s own assessments show UK will be worse off. For goodness sake – look at the increase in homelessness, poverty and hunger. Tories cook the books to make it appear that we are doing ok. That there’s an increase in employment. There isn’t. Homeless people are dying on our streets. And all of this money and resources being wasted on nonsense. And what about loss of freedom of movement and the rights of the 3 million EU citizens here. UK citizens living in EU27 are losing their vital freedom of movement also. Yet many had no vote. Brexit for the few. MPs, MEPs , currency speculators, hedge funders, Farage, Bankski. Won by breaking electoral laws and foreign money. Putin wants Brexit and it’s being facilitated by a government that takes large donations from Russians. Police sitting on a criminal investigation citing political sensitivity! Belonging to a controlled market hasn’t limited Germany or France. And it doesn’t limit UK. Wait until we are subject to WTO and have to negotiate tariffs and are in competition with EU27. It’s as if that competition wasn’t even considered by the bozo Brexiter MPs and MEPs. Our jobs are going abroad – to the EU27. And the Rees-Mogg, Redwood exploiters have set themselves up in Dublin! They’ll be alright, Jack! Shop workers are losing their jobs. Lichfield citizens are losing their shopping choice. Not everyone can shop online. The economic outlook for UK is dire. In a No Deal instance millions of jobs will be lost. Brexit is wrong. An insane reaction that for many was a misunderstanding of cause. Poverty has been induced by Tory government – austerity will be here for a very long time.

  6. Rob

    25th October, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    “Burntwood” spending already appears to be centred on Chase Terrace, strangely enough.
    Good to sea another mind-reader who knew what other people voted for and why, the latest being Christine Rapley.
    There are now more people claiming to know why over 17 million wanted to leave than actually voted, or so it would seem, and most of them are obsessed with money.

  7. John Griffin

    25th October, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    What spending Rob? Keep up at the back, you so do need to catch up on the dissection of Leave voters motivation. Anti government, ignorance of the EU, Anti neo liberal economics. And a lot of xenophobua stokes by the media. It’s all available as well as the spending on Burntwood. Read it up.

  8. Rob

    25th October, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    That school-teacher endemic once ingrained is a very powerful thing. Almost consuming, one could say.

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