Chichester BID rebuffs high street issues as House of Fraser confirms closure

Verity wonders who on earth would spend �300 on a candle at House of Fraser?
Verity wonders who on earth would spend �300 on a candle at House of Fraser?

Chichester has ‘significant survival potential’ as a visitor destination, the city BID has said.

It comes after House of Fraser, a core member of the Chichester BID, confirmed its department store in West Street is set to close early next year.

Richard Plowman, a city councillor warned earlier today that the city will lose a ‘major attraction’ for visiting shoppers.

In a statement, Colin Hicks, chairman of Chichester BID, gave the Observer a list of reasons why the news was not all doom and gloom.

It read: “We are being proactive as chair of the retail strategy working party developing a forward looking one for the Chichester Vision.

“Chichester is currently performing no worse than anywhere else, indeed we are currently the 4th most robust high street in the country

“Our high street already has the more successful retail businesses present and is evolving in line with current trends that will help our transition to the new reality.

“The city is already more than a shopping destination and already delivers significant survival potential as a heritage, holiday and community city as well.

“Chichester has a demographic which majors significantly on the age group with the most available cash to spend and the shopping, cultural and leisure habits to match.

“The magnificent cultural and heritage backdrop alongside our lifestyle and well-being offer is already providing significant extra reasons for visiting the city.

“As a partnership organisation we are working actively to encourage positive, realistic and more joined-up responses to these kinds of seismic events.”

What we know so far:

In its announcement, the chain said the move is a matter of survival

Primark has refused to comment on the site

It is estimated 160 jobs could be lost as a result of the closure

The freehold on the House of Fraser site was sold for £13.4million last year

Have your say on what should be next for West Street HERE