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Doubts over two more South Shields shops - but WH Smith is staying put

ANXIOUS WAIT ... there is uncertainty over the future of Dorothy Perkins, above, and Internacionale, below, in King Street, South Shields.

ANXIOUS WAIT ... there is uncertainty over the future of Dorothy Perkins, above, and Internacionale, below, in King Street, South Shields.

THE long-term future of more King Street stores remains uncertain today – while another has insisted it is “100 per cent” staying open.

Staff at both Dorothy Perkins and Internacionale face an anxious wait to discover their futures.

Internacionale has entered administration following a period of continued poor trading, casting a doubt over its store in South Shields town centre.

And the lease on Dorothy Perkins’s store in King Street is up for renewal in September, with its 11 staff hoping to find out in the next month whether store owners Arcadia will extend it.

But amid the uncertainty some good news has emerged, with WH Smith dismissing speculation it would be following nearby Marks & Spencer in shutting.

A spokeswoman for the premises said: “There have been quite a few customers coming in having heard rumours that we are to close.

“I can categorically deny that is the case.

“We are 100 per cent staying open.”

Internacionale, which employs over 1,500 staff and operates 89 stores across the UK including King Street – are continuing to trade as the hunt for a buyer goes on.

A spokesman for administrator PWC said: “The company directors have worked with key stakeholders to try and find a solution to preserve the business.

“However, these efforts have proved to be unsuccessful against the backdrop of a fiercely competitive retail sector which, despite the improving economic conditions, can be unforgiving to businesses in financial distress. Unfortunately, unless a willing buyer for the business or store portfolio is forthcoming, it is inevitable that redundancies and store closures will become necessary as the administration process continues.

“The company and the administrators are making every effort to help staff through this difficult transition.”

The long-term future of Mothercare’s King Street store also remains uncertain, with the lease on the premises soon to come to an end amid indications the company does not intend to renew it.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul

 

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