The news that another South Shields shop is due to shut its doors has sparked an outcry from shoppers across the borough.
Some have hailed the end of the town's Burton store, in King Street, as "another nail in the coffin of South Shields", while others have argued that the change in shopping habits is more to blame for footfall being on the decline. One thing many seem to agree on is that South Shields town centre is in need of a boost - but what do you think would provide it? Vote in our poll below to share your views.
Burton has been a familiar face on the high street in South Shields since the mid-1980s. Over the years, its neighbours have included Woolworths, Binns and Marks and Spencer.
All three have now closed.
It is not yet known when Burton will shut its doors - but retail insiders say it could be as early as January.
On the Shields Gazette Facebook page, some readers said that the lack of free parking in the town centre was a huge factor in the lack of certain retailers and new shops opening. Others called for different kinds of businesses to come to South Shields to reinvigorate the town's shopping area.
Here's what you had to say about Burton's closure on social media:
Mark Kirkwood: "Jarrow doesn't have a problem. The Nook doesn't have a problem just Shields.
"The whole lot needs pulling down and rebuilt as the private owners are not looking after the buildings, put a purchase order on them or they get them up to scratch."
Gemma Mcdougall: "To be honest the last time I went to Shields town centre was to visit the opticians, didn't shop just went and went home, there's nothing really worth going in anymore."
Pauline Clouston: "You go to The Galleries and very rarely is there an empty shop. Jarrow seems to be ticking over nicely.
"We now have B&M bargains, Home Bargains, Boyes and Wilkinson's all selling the same things. The bedding shop was only open a few months.
We need a Bridges or a Galleries, covered in for bad weather."
John Reay: "Sadly another nail in the coffin of South Shields."
Gary Dunmore: "We live in a different time from when the high street was the focal point of shopping."
Kevin Thurgood: "Quite simply, people's buying habits have changed, as most purchases can be made online nowadays, delivered the very next day in most instances, and a lot of the time at a far better price, so why leave the comfort of your own home?
"As sad as it is, it’s just a small part of the evolution of the modern world we all live in."
Paul Wann: "Just before anyone pipes up, don’t blame the council. Shopping habits change, retailers all over the UK are struggling.
"Lots of high street are dying - sad fact but we aren’t alone. Bring in the bulldozers I say."
Michelle Sheila A Martin: "Here we go again ... blame online shopping and so-called consumer habits. I’m sorry, but if there were any decent shops left in Shields, more people would shop here! "
Steven Lunt: "Another shop bites the dust. It’s ridiculous there’s so much money [being] spent on a lovely sea front and a lovely riverside, the word and such and then you have the shambles of a high street in between which is the first impression people will get when they get out of the shiny new Metro station."
Roly Mallows: "All the quality shops have gone. The council must have a drastic rethink about the future of King Street and the surrounding area. ASAP."
Nikki Pattinson-Petterson: "The town is in dire straits we need something to bring us in."
Pritam Singh: "High rent. High rates. Pay for parking. Its not rocket science what needs to be done."
Valerie Nichol: "We need shops, not everyone wants to shop online we all like a days shopping."
David A Turnbull: "Another one bites the dust until there will be none."