The leader of West Sussex County Council has called the House of Fraser closure early next year 'a really big blow'.
The new owners of House of Fraser confirmed yesterday (October 24) the site would finally be closing on January 27, after months of uncertainty.
In a statement, Louise Goldsmith said: "The news that the House of Fraser store in Chichester is closing is really a big blow for residents, visitors and in particular the staff who work there. For so many years we have had a department store in West Street and I think everyone will be saddened at its final demise – and so the department store in West Street is now set to become part of Chichester’s history.
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"We all know that high streets across the country face huge challenges as our shopping patterns have changed due to the internet. Chichester is one of the most resilient cities in the country however nobody can allow themselves to become complacent in these days of shifting shopping patterns.
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"That’s why West Sussex County Council is holding a very special event ‘Let’s Talk About Our Towns’ next month – where we can have an open dialogue about our town centres today and tomorrow and we are delighted that the Chichester Observer will be supporting this event.
"So just to reassure everyone the county council is working hard with our district and boroughs and other partners to find innovative ways to bring people into town centres right across West Sussex.
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"Christmas 2018 will be the very last for us to enjoy the House of Fraser store, and personally this will be mingled with more than some sadness. What we must all ensure is that whatever follows in its place will be an additional draw for people to the beautiful city of Chichester."