High Street hit by closures

The recent spate of retail closures will worry butchers and leave “holes” on every high street that could impact trade.

That is the view of Douglas Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA), who said he supported a bid by retail guru Mary Portas to revitalise the high street.

He was speaking out as the high street was left battered as a host of retailers announced store closures – putting around 10,000 jobs under threat.

Chocolate chain Thorntons said 120 poorly performing shops face closure, while Britain’s biggest floor coverings firm, Carpetright, announced plans to shut 75 outlets, placing up to 200 jobs at risk. The clothing chain TJ Hughes said it is looking to appoint an administrator, placing 4,000 full- and part-time jobs in jeopardy at its 57 stores nationwide.

And Jane Norman, the women’s fashion chain, which called in the administrators at the start of the week, announced 33 stores will shut as it made 400 staff redundant. Carpetright, the UK’s biggest floor coverings retailer, said it is bracing itself for two more years of tough trading conditions, as cash-strapped consumers decide a new carpet is not a priority.

And, in the last week, two other retailers have lined up administrators, home furnishings firm Habitat UK and HomeForm, the owner of Möben Kitchens and Dolphin Bathroom.

Scott said: “I think butchers are worried about these other shops not being there – despite the majority of them not selling meat. Closures like this leave a hole on the high street,  and it is very good that MPs have recognised this and employed Mary Portas to try and do something about it.

“It’s an issue that deeply concerns many people. A whole generation of people do not use their high streets.”

Despite voicing these concerns, he said that the number of high street butchers should remain roughly the same across the country.

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