Northern Threads to close one branch in South Shields as retail sector struggles

Northern Threads' Fowler Street store
Northern Threads' Fowler Street store

A high-fashion menswear business is to close one of its two South Tyneside outlets in the latest blow to the borough’s retail sector.

Bosses at Northern Threads say their Fowler Street shop, in South Shields, has fallen foul of tough post-recession trading times.

Nigel Binnie

Nigel Binnie

They also claim Brexit uncertainty has also impacted on a business which successfully trades online through a strong website presence.

Their second and best recognised store, which opened in 2006 in Ocean Road, also South Shields, will continue to operate as normal.

Co-owner Nigel Binnie said no date had been set to pull the shutters down on the closure-hit branch, which opened in 2010.

When it does, Northern Threads’ online business, which operates from an office in South Shields, will be transferred there until the lease expires in December.

Mr Binnie said: “The lease is coming to an end and trading conditions are difficult across the entire retail sector.

“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.

“We have been there for a decade and our landlord doesn’t want us to go and has tried to support us by getting someone else in before our lease ends.

“We traded really well from this store for the first year, but then the recession for us kicked in in 2011, and there’s also been uncertainty around Brexit.

“This closure is bad news for South Shields, it’s certainly not good news. But Northern Threads will, of course, continue to trade from Ocean Road.”

Northern Threads’ impact on the UK’s independent menswear retailer scene has twice been recognised by Drapers Magazine, which placed it in its Top Inspiring Independents list.

It is not known if any jobs will be affected by closure, which comes just weeks after the Burton and Greenwoods menswear shops closed in King Street, South Tyneside’s main retail hub.

Burton, which had operated in the town for around 35 years and is owned by the Arcadia Group, declined to detail its reasons.

Greenwoods reopened in Kind Street 2011, having previously closed there in 2008.