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Toys 'R' Us to close store on Carlisle retail park

Britain's biggest toy retailer is pulling out of Carlisle with the loss of about 25 jobs.

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Blow: Toys ‘R’ Us on St Nicholas Gate, Carlisle

The Toys ‘R’ Us store on the St Nicholas Retail Park, off London Road, will shut its doors later this month in what will be another blow to the High Street.

The forthcoming closure comes after Carlisle last year lost big names including Jaeger, Benetton, JJB Sports, Past Times, The Disney Store, Goldsmiths and Comet.

Staff at Toys ‘R’ Us were given the bad news at the weekend.

Twenty-five jobs were created when the 15,000 sq ft shop, which stocks all the major toy brands, plus bikes and video games, opened in October 2011.

The store originally opened as a so-called “pop up shop” for Christmas 2011. But successful trading led bosses to announce last January that it would stay open beyond its original timescale.

However, now the chain, which has more than 625 international stores, will shut. It is among a number of others that will close.

A spokesman for Toys ‘R’ Us, said: “We are currently working with staff to see if we can find them alternative employment in any of our other stores.

“We tend to close some of our stores after Christmas and Carlisle is one of those. We are closing a number of other temporary stores around the country. The Carlisle store will close this month.”

Last January when Toys ‘R’ Us announced it was staying open, a spokeswoman said: “It is great news for Carlisle – the store has been incredible over the Christmas period and the shoppers within Carlisle have made Toys ‘R’ Us feel extremely welcome.”

Carlisle’s city council leader Joe Hendry said: “It is very disappointing news to hear that we are losing a specialist retailer like Toys ‘R’ Us. Christmas is always a busy time for toy retailers and I guess after that the next few months are quieter for them.

“The fact that people are losing their jobs through no fault of their own is something that concerns me. I think Carlisle has held its own through the recession so far but more job losses on the cards is worrying.”

Colin Glover, deputy city council leader and economy and enterprise portfolio holder, said: “It’s a great shame to lose Toys ‘R’ Us. It is a great facility for the city as there are only a small number of toy shops in Carlisle.

“I would be keen to speak to them about their reasons for leaving and whether or not the city council could help find them an alternative site somewhere else in Carlisle.”

St Nicholas Gate Retail Park has been earmarked by politicians as a potential growth area for Carlisle’s retail sector.

Burger King is due to be demolished this month to make way for car parking spaces for a new supermarket that is moving onto the site, rumoured to be Asda.

David Brown, manager of Burger King, said he was due to attend a meeting tomorrow in which he hoped to find out a date for the fast food outlet’s closure.

Have your say

Think you might find that the former esso site on london road becomes the enterance for a new supermarket down the back on the old esso distribution facility site

Posted by Paul on 30 January 2013 at 16:34

I think it is a shame about the closure of TOYS-R-US. Carlisle has lost The Disney Store and now this. I have 4 Grandchildren and used to go no further than Carlsile when these 2 stores were there. Christmas shopping trips were to Carlisle meaning the money I spent was kept local. The other shops and resruarants got my money where as now I will be going to Newcastle and my money will be going with me. Good old Metro Centre doesn't let us down. LEARN FROM THEM CARLISLE CITY COUNCIL. I am by no means exceptional to the rule and I could asure you alot of my friends and work colleagues feel exactly the same and will not be botherig with Carlile they wil be going to Newcasle.

Posted by annon on 17 January 2013 at 16:04

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