King Street loses another high street name as South Shields branch of H Samuel closes down
South Shields town centre has lost another high street name with the closure of jewellers H Samuel – prompting a council chief to say ‘it’s time to do something different with King Street'.
The longstanding jewellers, formerly located at 50 King Street, is believed to have closed this month.
The premises is thought to be one of a number of H Samuel stores to close across the UK under parent company Signet, which also owns Ernest Jones, after sales reportedly fell in recent quarters.
The store is the latest in a long line of King Street’s stores to fall victim to the country’s high street crisis.
Menswear store Burton and opticians Vision Express both closed their doors earlier this year.
However, council chiefs say plans to regenerate King Street with the help of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund could see a transformation in the town.
South Shields was one of 50 town centres across the UK to go through to the second stage of the assessment, bidding for a piece of the £675million fund which has been designated to help high streets thrive.
If successful, South Tyneside Council are hoping to receive between £5-10million to implement plans such as the development of apartment buildings and a new cinema on King Street.
“It’s awful to hear about another shop closing, but there is life afterwards, it will just be different from what it looks like now,” said Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy.
“We’re going to have to do something different with King Street because retail has changed. We’ve really looked at it and keeping things as they are just won’t work.
“We’re looking at getting more people in the area, which would mean turning some of the shops into really nice apartments, putting offices down there and doing more community work to make it a place for families and children.”
Coun Anglin continued: “We have taken the first step and got through the biggest stage, we’re now working with government advisors to decide on our plan, which we will then send to them for confirmation.
“Come January we will begin to see a change in King Street.”
H Samuel have been approached for comment.