Popular high street fashion label launches 'shock' closing down sale – is your local disappearing for good? | The Sun

A POPULAR high street fashion label has launched a "shock" closing down sale.

Jack Wills has launched a clearance sale in its store on Forth Street in Taunton.

Shoppers have spotted closing down signs in the store's windows, with a sale of 20% off all items now in effect.

They read: "Closing Down. 20% off full price."

Staff at the Taunton store were unable to comment on the matter, according to Somerset County Gazette.

The Sun approached Frasers Group, owner of Jack Wills, for comment.

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Jack Wills pulled the shutters down on its last Scottish store on Bell Street in St Andrews in October.

It comes after Jack Will's was bought out by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, part of the Frasers Group, in August 2019.

The billionaire put in a £12.75m bid for the ailing business, which at the time had 110 stores across the UK and Ireland.

It was founded in 1999 as a single shop in Devon and its clothes became popular in the mid-2000s.

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But it lost its appeal in the years that followed as sixth-formers and university students turned to grungier styles.

In March 2020, it announced it would permanently close nine stores, just days after revealing five would shut.

Branches in Abersock, Aldeburgh, Dartmouth, St Ives and Rushden Lakes were all impacted.

The St Andrews store was also earmarked for closure, however a lease agreement was agreed with the landlord which saved the store.

House of Fraser, owned by The Fraser Group, has also announced closures in recent months.

The branch in Solihull closed on August 28 while its Guildford store is set to shut on September 30.

And in May this year, Mike Ashley's Frasers Group threatened to axe 200 jobs in a bid to cut costs across the business.

Why are retailers closing branches?

The cost of living crisis, stubbornly high inflation and energy costs are taking their toll on retailers.

Shoppers have been cutting back spending, while the cost of actually running a store has also increased, meaning some outlets have struggled to keep going.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this summer found the UK had lost 6,000 stores over a five-year period.

Several major brands have also collapsed and closed stores for good.

Wilko's fall in August marked the biggest British retail collapse since McColl's plunged into administration in May last year.

Paperchase collapsed into administration at the end of January this year and all 106 stores closed for good.

Scottish clothing brand M&Co and wellies retailer Joules were among a host of other familiar brands that went bust in 2022.

But shoppers still have reason to be cheerful as other retailers are actually expanding this year.

The Sun recently revealed discount retailer Costco is expanding in the UK and is planning to open 14 more warehouses over the next two years.

Bonmarche is opening at least seven new stores after filing for administration in 2019, while The White Company is due to open new stores in October and November.

Once-huge bakery chain Patisserie Valerie, which also collapsed into administration and closed most of its stores, has started reopening branches, as revealed by the Sun.

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Wilko shops are also set to return to the UK high street after the chain collapsed earlier this year.

We also recently revealed bakeries Wenzels, Greggs, Dunkin' Donuts and The Cornish Bakery are all in the process of expanding in the UK.

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