Blow for town as high street store closures looming
TWO high street stores are set to close in Llanelli — and the future of another is uncertain.
Jewellery chain H Samuel will shut its Stepney Street store this Friday, while clothes shop Dorothy Perkins has confirmed its store in Vaughan Street will be closing its doors on March 16.
And with the recent news of DVD and game rental chain Blockbuster going into administration, the six staff at its Trostre branch have no idea of the store's future.
A supervisor at Dorothy Perkins — where around eight members of staff are employed — said: "We are all absolutely devastated. Most of us will lose our jobs.
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"We have got regular customers and they are all upset too."
Shoppers in the town were quick to share their views on the disappointing news.
Elizabeth Price, 54, from Tyisha, and her daughter Joanna, 26, were shopping in Vaughan Street. Mrs Price said: "It is bad. The new development has drawn people in, but the rest of the town has been left to die."
A spokeswoman for H Samuel said the chain's portfolio of stores is continually assessed, particularly when individual store leases come up for renewal.
"We are sorry to be leaving Llanelli. However, we do have two alternative stores nearby in Swansea," she added.
A worker at Blockbuster store in Trostre, who did not want to be named, said: "It's all up in the air, we really don't know what is going on." Another worker confirmed that the first he had known about Blockbuster going into administration was when he heard it on the news.
Chairman of CBSA for Business and Social Action, Mike Theodoulou, said the situation was common across other areas and was "extremely disturbing."
Mr Theodoulou said that to reinvigorate Llanelli's high street, the aim should be to encourage young people to live in the town centre by developing apartments above shops.
He said: "If they can make Llanelli town centre an attractive and trendy area to live in, business will follow."