More shops confirm closures in the town centre

JPCT-08-02-12 Swan Walk, Horsham,  interior   S12060895a -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT-08-02-12 Swan Walk, Horsham, interior S12060895a -photo by Steve Cobb

TWO MORE shops have announced they are closing adding to more shopping woe in Horsham.

Oil & Vinegar, in Swan Walk and Bonmarché on West Street are the latest casualties to join cafe BB’s, Sony Centre, Barratts, Blacks, Frames and Pictures, Feet First, Hawkin’s Bazaar, Millets and Past Times.

All of which have closed or gone into administration over the last couple of months.

Elizabeth Britton, sales assistant at Oil and Vinegar, said: “It is such a shame but the rent is just too high in Horsham.

“Our customers are gutted, many have said ‘Oh but we have just found you and now you are closing’.

“With so many shops closing no one wants to come to Horsham any more to shop, it is pushing people to go to Crawley and losing the town money.”

Clothing store Bonmarché in West Street has also been displaying posters advertising a closing down sale, despite being bought by another company.

The Peacocks Group, which includes Bonmarché, announced it was going into administration in January and appointed administrator KPMG LLP to look for new buyers.

Sun European Partners LLP bought the Bonmarché brand on Monday January 23, immediately announcing that it expected to close 160 stores and cut 1,400 jobs. The Horsham closure has now been confirmed.

Beales department store has also announced that it may be making redundancies across its group this year.

The company, which has a store in the Forum, has 35 shops nationwide and announced restructuring plans for stores and its head office in Bournemouth.

At the time of going to press The County Times had received no comment from the department store.

However, it is not all doom and gloom with those behind the fabric shop C&H saying they are ‘excited’ to be opening a new store on West Street.

“We have been fortunate to recruit approximately 30 experienced members of staff from the Horsham area who we are currently training on all of our specialist products,” said a spokesperson for the family-run company.

“These include a wide range of Knitting Yarns, Haberdashery, Dress-making and Craft products as well as ready-made and bespoke Furnishing products.”

The store will have an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday March 22.