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'Devastating' blow for Torquay as Topshop and Body Shop close

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

CLOSING: Body Shop and Top Shop, Fleet Street, Torquay Torquil MacLeod TQTM20140129B-01_C

Comments (10)

MAJOR retail names are pulling out of Torquay high street in a 'devastating' blow for the town.

Topshop and the Body Shop have confirmed they will both close their stores in Fleet Walk in March.

And the Ladbrokes betting shop in Fleet Street has already closed down.

A spokesman for Topshop said the shop's last day of trading would be March 15.

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The spokesman said: "As a business, we are continually reviewing our store portfolio across the group, and as part of that leases do come up for renewal.

"On the occasion when a lease is not renewed, we always endeavour where possible to re-deploy staff affected to another store within the Arcadia Group."

A spokesman for the Body Shop said: "We can confirm the Torquay store is closing in March.

"We regularly review our store portfolio performance and have reluctantly taken the decision to not renew the lease of the Body Shop, Torquay, and close the store. We are currently in consultation with the sales team to discuss job opportunities elsewhere within the business."

They said customers could still visit the Newton Abbot store or shop online or via home parties.

Ladbrokes closed on Tuesday. A sign on the door thanked customers for their support over the years and directed them to nearby branches in Market Street and Vaughan Parade.A spokesman said: "We have run three licences in Torquay since 2006 but have seen a business decline in this area of the last five years. Unfortunately we are no longer able to sustain the losses in these three shops so have closed Fleet Street. "We have two other licences within five minutes walk of Fleet Street, one in Vaughan Parade and the other in Market Street. Both will remain open. Given the minimal distance between Fleet Street and Vaughan Parade there will be minimal disruption to our customers who can continue to bet with us here."We have five colleagues who were based in Fleet Street. In addition to the two remaining licences in Torquay we also have shops in Paignton and Goodrington within this market place and have been able to accommodate them within these locations."

John Doherty, who has been re-elected as chairman of the Torquay Business Improvement District steering group, said the loss of high street names like Topshop and Body Shop was 'devastating' for the town.

He said: "It is almost exactly a year since Topshop opened in the Willows, which says it all really.

"But the bottom line is they were obviously not making enough money to pay the cost of the units.

"The problem is closures like this have a knock-on effect on other businesses, as for example shoppers might have also bought some jewellery or had a coffee while in town."

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  • nocoment  |  January 30 2014, 6:52PM

    empty shops= no revenue, reduced rates shops open= revenue no contest

    |   4
  • plughole  |  January 30 2014, 6:49PM

    Someone needs to step in to make sure this does not happen to other big shops. Peoples jobs could be at risk

    |   1
  • plughole  |  January 30 2014, 6:48PM

    Someone needs to step in and make sure this does not happen to other big shops. Peoples jobs are at risk

    |   1
  • MrFussy  |  January 30 2014, 4:35PM

    Cor blimey strike a light. Another example of the recovery which we're all participating in. Er....

    |   7
  • iseveryidused  |  January 30 2014, 4:22PM

    We don't have a great track record for getting these things right do we? Union Square Fleet Walk English Riviera Centre Pavillion Meanwhile, Exeter has Princesshay & Plymouth have Drake Circus. We do have the Willows, but I'm guessing that was driven by Marks & Spencer, not some well-meaning but business inept councillors?

    |   6
  • SmartyC  |  January 30 2014, 1:59PM

    No doubt Torbay Council will respond by charging more for parking. It's never failed them before...

    |   9
  • TopMinstrel  |  January 30 2014, 10:58AM

    THE ANSWER IS EXTREMELY CLEAR, obviously the rich of Torbay much prefer to have money in their pockets than to see the town thrive

    |   6
  • themightyflea  |  January 30 2014, 10:46AM

    The inept oversight of the £2,000,000 partial implementation of the Fleet Street 'improvement' scheme probably helped these national chains make their decision. No wonder the council is thinking of putting off the remainder of this fiasco in town planning for two years and, by then, the contractors will inevitably have raised the cost to a further £5,000,000. Does anyone see any actual improvement? Shoppers still have to be wary of endless buses passing through belching diesel fumes and the upper end of the road by Tesco that was in greater need of repair remains rutted like a cart track. You couldn't make it up!

    |   15
  • sc4ffolder  |  January 30 2014, 10:17AM

    Why Filter the word TURP1N , He was a very famous highwayman who robbed the poor , just like modern day TBC

    |   8
  • sc4ffolder  |  January 30 2014, 10:14AM

    3 things here ( 1 ) Business rates in Torbay are OTT , I thought Dick ****** died years ago ( 2 ) Parking , Again i thought Dick ****** died years ago but he is alive and well and working for TBC . ( 3 ) Online shopping & Out of town stores , Both are free and hassle free

    |   11