A high-street giant retail has announced it is closing one of its outlets in a blow to locals.
The show retailer Shoezone, which currently counts more than 320 locations across the UK, closed 13 stores in 2023.
The high street retailer has announced it is closing its branch in Inverness, leaving shoppers with a three-hour drive to reach the next nearest store, in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.
Closing signs have appeared in windows at the site, although it has yet to be confirmed when the store will cease trading.
High Street retailers are grappling with climbing energy prices
Locals have voiced discontent over the news on social media, with one user writing on Facebook: “God another long-time shop closing.
“Very sad. Great prices plus they were pet-friendly,” while a third person simply exclaimed: “Oh no.”
Shoezone, which employs 2,500 people, closed its store on Watford High Street earlier on January 4th.
Stores at the following locations are also set to shut down by the end of 2024:
- Newton Abbot
- Hinckley, Leicester
- Cromer, Norfolk
The shoe retail closed a total of 13 branches last year and a staggering 63 from 2020 to 2021.
Shoppers will be pleased to hear that stores at two locations listed above are being relocated.
Some will undergo improvements in a boost to local shopping destinations, offering shoppers a more extensive range of footwear.
Furthermore, eight new stores opened in 2023, adding to the 13 that opened in 2022.
Locals in Inverness have voiced their disappointment over the latest closure
The latest closures mark a big blow to the high street, which has seen a staggering number of stores close in the wake of the pandemic.
A shift to online shopping and climbing energy prices have been recognised as the driving factors behind struggling high street businesses.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows sales volumes dipped by 3.2 per cent in December.
Additionally, figures released by the Centre for Retail Research in January revealed more than 10,000 shops and almost 120,000 retail jobs were lost in 2023.
GB News has contacted Shoezone for comment