Loss of Argos store 'disappointing' and more big names could leave Weston High Street
PUBLISHED: 15:56 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 11 October 2019
The loss of another big name retailer on Weston High Street is 'disappointing' but business leaders believe the town can bounce back.
The Mercury exclusively revealed last week Argos will close its High Street store next year.
An official date is yet to be confirmed but one employee told the Mercury it will close a week before Easter.
Its departure will leave the High Street with another big unit to fill following the closure of flagship store Marks & Spencer in April this year.
EXCLUSIVE: Argos to close in 2020.
Paul Batts, chairman of the Weston Business Improvement District (BID), said the future lies with more independent areas.
He said: "Our only hope is to fill it with something else, ideally something which is not another bargain store or coffee shop, but the High Street is going through a difficult time.
"We will have two big empty units at both ends which should be the entrance to the High Street.
"Our independent shopping areas such as Orchard Meadows and Grove Village are going to become more important going forward."
The Mercury understands Worle's Argos shop in Queensway, which shares retail space with Homebase, will not be affected by the Weston closure.
Town centre manager Steve Townsend said it is a 'difficult time' for retailers.
He told the Mercury: "This has been on the cards for the last year unfortunately, it is very disappointing one of our big retailers is going out of the town.
"A lot of Argos stores are going into Sainsbury's shops in smaller units as cost cutting measures, it is a difficult time for retailing nationally and we might see a few more big names leave in the future.
"The market is changing and we need to get creative and get a town centre which reflects Weston as a whole."
Free seminars for independent businesses will be held by North Somerset Council as part of its heritage action zone programme later this month.
The sessions will focus on marketing ideas and ways to minimise retail theft.
Paul added: "At BID, we are talking to the council all the time about what its plans and visions are for the shopping area, there should be someone out there from the council flying the Weston flag.
"Weston is a good town for business, it has a growing population, big college presence and has a huge influx of visitors on weekends and over summer."