ONE of Coleraines’s best-loved fashion outlets is closing.
The shutters at Topshop in Coleraine are staying down.
Staff were informed of the decision yesterday ( Monday 26th January 2021 ) to close the Church Street premises with immediate effect.
A member of the staff told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that all nine employees were “honestly heart broken”.
She said: “A good few of us have over 20 years service for the company and we have gone through babies, marriages, breakups – everything together.
“We now have to claim redundancy through the government. We thought maybe we had a light at the end of the tunnel with the possibility of Next buying us, but once ASOS was mentioned we had the dread of the online only brand.
“We were notified on Monday and are in the process of clearing out the store today over the few days.”
MLA Maurice Bradley said “This is more devastating news for our town centre, and it is becoming a very worrying trend. TopShop has been a feature on our main shopping zone for many years and I am sure the staff are devastated with the news.
“I will be writing to the Minister in the coming days to find out about the workings of the high street task force and how it can help provincial towns like Coleraine.”
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said the closure of TopShop in Coleraine is a huge blow to the town centre.
The East Derry MLA:
“The closure of Topshop will be devastating for the workers and their families.
“Management needs to keep workers and their representatives informed of developments at every stage of the process and offer support and retraining and up-skilling opportunities wherever possible.
“This will also have a major impact on Coleraine town centre, TopShop has been in the town for many years and part of my and many others’ local shopping experience.
“Going forward in the economic recovery from COVID19 there needs to be a strategic look at how our town centres respond and I look forward to engaging with the High Street Taskforce established by the Executive Office in that work.”
The axe has been hanging over several Topshop stores since Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins owner Arcadia had gone into administration in November, putting 13,000 jobs at risk across the UK.