Millets, Stead & Simpson and Urban Republic close in Exmouth

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By PGStrange | Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 17:57

MILLETS AND STEAD & SIMPSON are to close in Exmouth. The two high street stores follow on from other recent closures in the town's Magnolia Centre, including Urban Republic and Julian Graves. But while some stores are closing, new "individual" shops are opening, a move that has been welcomed by the Mayor of Exmouth, John Humphreys…

News of the Millets' closure was confirmed to Exmouth People by branch manager Duncan Thomas. The outdoor clothing shop will officially cease trading on Friday 21 September. It's understood that the closure affects six staff; three have accepted new jobs in the Exeter branch, while three others have chosen to take voluntary redundancy.

The reasons for the closure have yet to be confirmed, but it's believed that higher shop rents in the Magnolia Centre are a key factor while the relatively small size of the shop meant that it didn't fit within the "model" of the company's other bigger stores.

"It's a bit sad, but it's out of our hands" said Duncan Thomas, who has been the manager of the Exmouth branch since May. "Some staff have been here for many years. We will post a message up on the shop window next week, thanking all our loyal customers."

A new business is already lined up to take over the old Millets' unit. As seen in our photo, a workman was measuring up new signage outside the Magnolia Centre shop this afternoon (Wednesday 12 September), but it's unclear what the new business will be.

Meanwhile, opposite Millets, Stead & Simpson is also set to close shortly, due to "poor performance" and "rising costs", which have made the location "unsustainable".

"The decision to close a store is always a difficult one and is not taken lightly," said a spokesperson for Shoe Zone, which owns the Stead & Simpson stores. "We always try to re-deploy any staff affected to nearby stores wherever possible." The date of the Exmouth store's closure is not yet confirmed.

Urban Republic, the shop selling a range of designer label clothes for men and women, closed in the Magnolia Centre on 6 September. The reasons behind the closure have yet to be confirmed, but a poignant message in the shop's window read: "Unfortunately Urban Republic will cease trading on 6-9-12. We would like to thank you all for your support and custom. We had an amazing 13 years, met a lot of lovely people and feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy such a great business in Exmouth. Love Pauline, Gail and Steven. xxx"

Newly opened

On a more positive note, several new shops and businesses have newly opened in Exmouth in the past few months. These include new cycle and cycle hire shop Bikelands in The Strand, tanning shop Consol Studio in The Parade and Celebrations, the cake and present shop on Albion Street. In addition, a new small business selling dried fruit, believed to be run by the former manager of Julian Graves in the Magnolia Centre, is due to open soon on Church Street,

"I think the shop closures are quite sad, but it's not just in Exmouth, it's happening in many more towns as well," said John Humphreys, the Mayor of Exmouth. "We're still in a recession. I don't know how long that's going to go on for, but the shops that have recently opened within Exmouth are individual shops. We're not going to get M&S or John Lewis, because we've got that just 10 miles down the road, but what we do encourage is individuality coming into Exmouth and opening new shops."

What do you think of the shop closures in Exmouth? Tell us here…

      

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