SOUTH Tyneside’s main shopping thoroughfare is facing the prospect of losing up to three shops .
It has emerged that one store in King Street, South Shields is to shut and another two have doubts over their future.
Baker Greggs is reviewing one of its outlets and the hunt is on for a new tenant for the Mothercare store.
Women’s clothes shop Legend is set to shut and is holding a closing down sale.
The manager said the lease on the building is due to run out in April and they would not be renewing it.
Greggs has three outlets in King Street. The only one with a café/restaurant area – beside Nobles Amusements – is under review.
A spokesman pledged that efforts are always made to re-locate staff to other branches in the town.
He said: “Our priority for the next two to three years is to improve the quality of and reshape our existing estate, through a combination of shop relocations, reformatting and some shop closures.
“I can confirm that our shop at No15 King Street, South Shields, is currently under review but a final decision has yet to be made.
“Please note that, when we do decide to close a shop, we make every effort to find alternative jobs for the colleagues impacted in the local vicinity”.
Meanwhile, the lease on the Mothercare store, at 93 King Street, has been advertised by commercial real estate firm, CBRE, and is on offer at an annual rental cost of £85,000 and rates of £41,919.
The advert on CBRE’s website says staff have yet to be informed.
Ian Webster, of CBRE, said: “Mothercare’s lease is up in a couple of months and it appears they are not renewing.”
King Street has seen a number of store closures in recent years.
Thompsons electrical store closed in February last year and the HMV shop shut the following month.
In January last year, the Bay Biscuit Factory and Flossy shoe shop both closed.
The Stead and Simpson shoe store closed the previous year, as did electrical giant Currys.
South Tyneside Council aims to combat the problem with its £100m ‘South Shields 365’ revamp of the entire town centre.
The first phase is well under way after the demolition of Wouldhave House in the Market Place – with work to start later this year on a new library and community hub on that site.
The second phase will see a new cinema and associated leisure and retail in Barrington Street, followed by creation of a transport hub in Keppel Street in 2015/16.
The third phase, in Fowler Street, will see a large new retail quarter within five to seven years.