Shutters come down on two more shops in South Shields

The Officers Club has closed its King Street store.
The Officers Club has closed its King Street store.

A national clothing chain has closed its doors in South Shields town centre.

The Officers Club in King Street shut last week just two years after opening.

Owners A Levy & Son, which trades as Blue Inc and Officers Club, appointed administrators on January 19.

Like-for-like sales were up by 3%, but online trade had seen a 50% boost – with shoppers preferring to buy their clothes on the internet.

Meanwhile, administrators Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group has secured the future of 1,500 jobs at the company by restructuring.

However, it is understood about 74 stores have been closed across the UK with the loss of about 580 jobs.

A spokeswoman for Blue Inc said: “Administrators were appointed but the company has not gone into administration.

“Basically the administrators have been collaborating store portfolios to find out which ones had the most potential and sadly a number of stores have had to close.

“There has been a big shift towards online shopping in recent times.

“Our online sales were up by 50%, but there’s still been a strong like-for-like 3% rise in store sales – but some shops just haven’t performed as well as others across the country.

“Sadly, we have had to let people go and jobs have been lost.”

A pop-up clothes store on the corner of the cut in King Street, which leads down 
to Keppel Street, has also shut.

The outlet opened a few months before Christmas and was selling clothing at discounted prices.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “It is always sad to see a business leave the town centre.

“Although we have not direct communication from the Officers Club, we understand this is because the business has gone into administration.”

The spokesman added: “The council will continue to press ahead with its economic regeneration scheme for the town centre to make it an attractive place for businesses, shoppers and visitors.”