A WOMEN’S clothes shop has become the latest town centre shop to close.
Evans in Crompton Place will shut up shop for the last time on Saturday, September 13 with the loss of five jobs.
It is understood its lease is expiring.
A spokesman for Arcadia-owned Evans confirmed the move.
He said: “We are constantly reviewing our store portfolio across the group, and leases continually expire or come up for renewal.
“We are always looking at how to shape our store portfolio, investing in flagship stores, and increasing our brand presence online.
“When leases expire which we do not renew, we endeavour to redeploy staff affected to another store within the Arcadia Group as much as we can.”
None of the staff in Crompton Place have been offered alternative posts.
Crompton Place manager Malcolm Angus, said: “We are disappointed to see Evans leave Crompton Place but we are already in talks with two retailers who are interested in taking over the unit.
“In the meantime our thoughts are obviously with the staff for who this is a difficult and uncertain time but the decision to leave was made by senior managers at the Arcadia Group and is not a reflection of the situation at Crompton Place where business is brisk.”
In the last nine months Subway, Perfect Homes, Poundland and Wipe Your Tears charity shop have opened in the centre.
Mr Angus said: “Crompton Place has made an important contribution to the local economy over very many years, providing about 500 jobs and is home for some of the high street’s biggest names, including Boots, BHS, Beaverbrooks, Ernest Jones, The Fragrance Shop, New Look and Clarks.”
Bolton Council’s director of development and regeneration Keith Davies said he had been told by Arcadia that it was currently company policy to let leases lapse in regional shopping centres when they come up for renewal.
He added: “They are consolidating their offer into city centres. We have invited them to come to us if there is anything we can do to help if they made a decision to stay.
“It is a decision that is not specific to Bolton and should not reflect negatively on the town.
“Arcadia have sometimes relocated stores like Evans into BHS, but this is not happening in Bolton because there are too many other outlets.”
The move follows the high-profile closure of Dorothy Perkins and Burtons, which moved out of Deansgate two years ago.
Bolton fish and chip restaurant Alice’s also shut up shop last week, citing too high rent and rates and mounting debts the the reason for closure.