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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Shop to close after 30 years in Carlisle city centre

Another Carlisle shop is set to close, after three decades in the city centre.

Mothercare photo
Mothercare in Carlisle

Mothercare has announced that it will shut its store on the Scotch Street area of The Lanes shopping centre at the end of September as part of a national plan to invest in its online operation and larger branches.

The Carlisle store employs 11 staff and has been on the site since 1984, when the shopping centre development first opened.

A Mothercare spokeswoman said: “We thank all our customers in the Carlisle area for their loyalty and support for Mothercare. Whilst we deeply regret that the store will close in late September it is part of a larger transformation plan for our business.

“The plan will see us close a small number of our stores across the UK whilst investing in online shopping channels, as well as the refurbishment of some of our larger stores to make the experience even better for our customers.”

She also told the News & Star that the company would discuss what would happen to staff with the employees themselves and that the company could try to find them other roles.

Once the shop closes, the nearest branch of Mothercare will be in Gateshead.

She added: “We will be e-mailing our customers in the Carlisle area to advise them of the changes and to offer them a discount on future purchases with Mothercare. We thank them again for their continued support.”

Councillor Ged Caig, who represents the Castle ward, which includes The Lanes, was sad to hear the news.

He said: “Obviously I am disappointed, Carlisle can ill-afford to lose town centre shops. As a council we are looking at plans to develop the town centre and when something like this happens it is a bit disheartening.

“I feel for the staff and I hope they can find alternative employment.”

“Nothing looks worse in the town centre than empty shops,” he added.

Suzanne Caldwell, the head of communications and business services at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “In line with a lot of other retailers, because technology has moved on and people’s shopping habits have changed, they are having to look at their business model.”

“While it is always disappointing to see a shop going from the high street it is also not that surprising.”

The Early Learning Centre in Castle Street, closed earlier this year, with its products moving to Mothercare.

Adult store Thongs n’ Things also stopped trading on Botchergate this year.

The spokeswoman said Mothercare would close for the last time on Wednesday, September 24.

A spokesman for The Lanes declined to comment.

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