Dorothy Perkins to close in Great Yarmouth

FASHION chain Dorothy Perkins which has occupied a prime location at the entrance of Great Yarmouth’s Market Gates shopping centre for 36 years will close its doors on Friday.

The store, part of the Arcadia group which also owns Burtons, Bhs and Evans in the town has reportedly redeployed all of the shop’s staff to other branches in Yarmouth, Norwich and Lowestoft.

It marks an end of an era for the store affectionately known as Dotty P’s which was one of Market Gates original tenants and the first to take up space when the precinct opened in the mid 1970s.

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman said the closure did not reflect on Dorothy Perkins’ performance locally but was part of a wider strategy not to renew leases and concentrate on consolidating the brand within Bhs and Outfit.

He said: “I would be surprised if that unit were vacant for very long because it is a prime unit and a very visual unit. I’m sure it wont be empty for long.

“Its not due to anything other than they have decided not to renew their lease. However they still have one in Bhs and Gapton Hall. On a positive note all the staff were redeployed within the organisation with no job losses or redundancies

“If a company has an opportunity to cut costs and still be in the town then you can understand that. Its part of the changes that our towns and cities are going through. Whether their strategy will be successful remains to be seen - we have already seen them do the same with Top Shop in town. However it does open up a prime unit for somebody else.”

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Shop manager Tracy High, who is being transferred to Lowestoft, thanked all the local customers and holidaymakers that called in year after year for their support. The number of staff had dwindled from nine to five with one having worked at the store for over 22 years.

Earlier this year clothing retailer Jane Norman was advertising for a manager in Great Yarmouth although no details about where the store might be came to light.

In November Arcadia boss Sir Phillip Green announced the company was looking to close around 250 stores, with around 450 leases up for renewal in the next few years.

The group has struggled in the economic climate with profits plummeting by almost 40pc. The group continues to expand abroad with Topshop leading the way.

In March it emerged that Market Gates had appointed London-based administrators Deloitte to seek a new buyer for the centre. Meanwhile shoppers were assured it was business as usual for the 40 retailers based in the centre.