A high street chain has served up a fresh business blow for the borough - after confirming the closure of a second town centre store in as many years.
Bakery giants Greggs brought down the shutters on its branch in Fowler Street, South Shields, for the final time on Saturday.
The nationwide firm has halved its number of town centre outlets - from four to just two - since 2014.
The North East-based company says that all staff who worked in the axed branch have been re-deployed to remaining stores in the town.
A Greggs spokesman said: “We can confirm that the shop on Fowler Street has closed and will not be re-opening.
“All staff are being re-deployed to Greggs shops nearby.”
The closure is the latest retail setback for the borough, which has seen a string of traders - including nationwide brand names - shut up shop in recent years.
Greggs the bakers shut its cafe premises close to the Metro bridge in King Street last June, with Internacionale, the women’s clothes brand, also following suit in the same month.
One of the jewels in the shopping thoroughfare, Marks & Spencer closed its King Street store amid deep dismay from customers and political figures alike last March - sparking a 2,000 strong petition in a vain bid to keep the supermarket giants in the town.
After ceasing trading at its King Street branch last year, Greggs said the move was part of an ongoing effort to ‘improve the quality of its existing estate’ through a series of shop relocations, re-formatting and closures.