MetroCentre businesses that will remain closed for good after the lockdown
It was a turbulent time for businesses in the Northeast.
But after more than a year of Covid, nationwide closures and local restrictions, non-essential stores are starting to reopen.
On April 12, Boris Johnson eased coronavirus restrictions, reopening stores and allowing pubs and restaurants to serve customers outside.
Across the Northeast, the past week has seen crowded shops and restaurants – and the spring weather has helped.
Customers are starting to return to MetroCentre in Gateshead, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.
However, they will notice that some of the stores did not survive the pandemic and are now closed.
Here we take a look at which ones are gone for good.
ready to eat
It was last June that the upscale coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger confirmed that it would not be reopening its department store at the MetroCentre after deciding not to renew its two leases there.
The same fate befell his Grainger Street store in Newcastle, near the Newcastle Monument, cutting thousands of jobs.
Argos Extra in the MetroCentre, one of the largest Argos stores in the North East, no longer exists.
It was on the list of standalone Argos stores that were phased out across the UK. Sainsbury’s, owner of the brand, revealed last November that it was cutting around 3,500 jobs and closing branches as part of efforts to “better reflect customer demand.”
That month, Argos in the Yellow Mall was photographed with large signs indicating the store is now closed.
Debenhams closed what was one of the largest stores in Gateshead Shopping Center in June as it battled falling sales and the legacy of huge debt.
It was a big blow at the time, but Next took over the old Debenhams store to expand its homeware and womenswear sales and into beauty products.
Topman, Topshop and Miss Selfridge
Like stores across the UK, Topman, Topshop and Miss Selfridge are expected to remain permanently closed after the brands were bought by online retailer Asos following the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group.
The brands, bought for £ 265million, had stores in the area, including the MetroCentre as well as in Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
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Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton
Online fashion retailer Boohoo bought Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton for £ 25million, completing the breakup of the Arcadia Group.
The deal to buy the three remaining non-government fashion brands does not include any of their 214 UK stores, including those at MetroCentre.
It was last April, the fashion and accessories brand Cath Kidston announced the closure of its 60 stores in the United Kingdom, resulting in the loss of more than 900 jobs.
The main street company has confirmed that its stores will not reopen once the coronavirus lockdown ends after owners reached a deal to buy out its brand and online operations after it fell under administration.
In March, iconic chocolatier Thorntons announced the permanent closure of all of its UK stores, including at MetroCentre.
The retailer blamed the impact of the Covid pandemic on the closure of 61 stores nationwide, as 603 jobs were confirmed to be at risk.