House of Fraser closure ‘a sad day for the city’

No Caption ABCDE SUS-140310-100709003
No Caption ABCDE SUS-140310-100709003

City councillor Richard Plowman has warned Chichester will need to improve its retail offering to compete with other cities.

He said the departure of House of Fraser, confirmed this morning, may mean shoppers would go elsewhere as the city lost a key brand.

He said: “It’s a sad day for the city. Not to have a department store, we lose a major attraction for people coming to Chichester.

“I think it’s a reflection that we need to do something to attract people to Chichester because if it’s not for shops what else are people going to come to Chichester for?”

He said key competitors were shopping destinations at Portsmouth and Guildford.

Other reasons for visiting the city could be for tourism, he said, adding that this could be helped by the development of the Southern Gateway area.

He said he thought House of Fraser site would most likely be made into ‘prime residential’ properties as it would be tricky to find a replacement retailer.

“It’s going to be difficult, it’s hard to see who will go into that space size, it’s quite a difficult building in terms of being listed,” he said.

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