Three Douglas stores will not be reopening after their parent companies were bought by online retailer Boohoo.
Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis were all part of the failed retail group Arcadia that collapsed into administration last year.
It was announced on Monday morning that Boohoo had agreed a £25.2m deal to buy the brands, including online businesses, but not the 214 shops nor 2,450 workers employed in them.
Oliver Chesire, from Douglas Town Centre Management confirmed that staff at the three stores were informed on Monday evening that they will not be able to reopen, signalling a loss of about 20 jobs in the capital. This comes after Topshop also fell, with a further 11 staff losing their jobs.
He told Gef: ‘Obviously really sad news. When the announcement first came out about Arcadia going into administration, the first people that you think of are the staff who actually work in the stores. I’ve had the privilege of working with the management/staff at Wallis, DP/Burtons and Top Shop for the last few years and am really sad for them. Not only will the Arcadia brands be missed in Douglas, but the staff behind them will be greatly missed in the town centre. They really are a fantastic bunch of people who will be assets to any future employers.
‘Online shopping is always going to be a threat to the high street, but for me and many others, physically seeing an item, smelling the aftershave or trying on the jumper first is the preferred option. We are in a day and age where people can do everything from their phone without leaving their home, but at the same time mental illness is also on the increase. Physically getting out meeting friends in town for a coffee, having conversations with our fantastic retail/hospitality staff and interacting with other human beings is good for us.
‘Looking to the future, there is interest on and off island in vacant units within Douglas town centre and I believe that when we see the borders reopen, some units that are currently vacant will be filled.’
Mr Chesire said the staff of the closed stores had worked hard in their time and made an impression on customers, as demonstrated by customer service awards which had been won by staff at the various shops.
While the closure of these stores and the loss of jobs on the is disappointing, we can hope for a positive future for Douglas’ high street as we continue to emerge from the Covid pandemic.