Gazette readers have been sharing their views on the future of shopping in South Shields following the announcement of another store closure.
Northern Threads revealed that the firm will close its Fowler Street shop, which opened in 2010. Their best-recognised store, in Ocean Road, will continue to trade as normal.
Co-owner Nigel Binnie told the Gazette that the company's lease on the closure-hit store is coming to an end in December, and that trading conditions for the retail sector have been "difficult".
He added: "We will trade for as long as we can with the existing stock that we have, but there’s no point spending the money to put the next two seasons’ stock there."
On social media, some of you hailed the closure as another nail in the coffin for "ghost town" South Shields. Others argued that the town "struggled" to footfall.
Here's how you reacted to the story on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:
John Brown: "Don’t worry folks, I’m sure their loyal custom can walk the 100 yards round to the other shop. This shop is not ran by a large national chain. It’s ran by two local lads who believe it’s better to streamline the business after this lease was up for renewal. Let’s get behind them and support a successful local business who’ve survived tough times in an even tougher market."
Darren Batchelor: "I moved here two years ago. Houghton where I lived is the same. The town I grew up in Nuneaton just as bad if not worse. This isn't just a Shields issue. We all go online and buy stuff cheaper. It's not the councils fault its everyone's shopping habits."
Diana Lambton: "South Shields is basically a ghost town now, the town centre is empty which is so sad as it was a fantastic place to be in the 80s."
Garry McKenna: "The lease is due ... it makes perfect sense as a business decision. It’s a great shop, nice clobber. Thankfully the other store is there to continue trading."
Manda Leigh: "There's [nothing] left in Shields to be fair! Wasting all that money on a bus station."
Pritam Singh: "The town centre has had it. Reduce business rates introduce free parking and incentivise the public--- and it may pick up. No one is trying to help retailers."
Paul Mckiernan: "While it's another blow to canny old Shields it's not a surprise as the shops sells clothes that a lot of people can't afford in Shields, it would be more suited to a bigger city."
Sherrie Loft: "Another one bites the dust."
David McDermott: "It must be a curse to have a business in the town center recently. Of course they are struggling, nobody goes there anymore. You only have to pick a parcel up at the Post Office depot on Walpole Street and see the queues of young people collecting their online shopping."
Carol Gibson: "So sorry such a shame."