The group which runs footwear firm Cloggs is set to shut down the chain.
And that would leave a York city centre shopping street with only one store.
JD Sports owns Cloggs, which has three stores – in Shrewsbury, Newcastle – and on Feasegate in York.
It bought the business out of administration in 2013, and the York store opened in 2014. But according to a report on trade website Drapers Cloggs is now subject to a “controlled closure”.
Challenging trading environment
This is what JD Sports told Drapers:
While the current management and staff have made every effort to deliver a robust business, it is apparent that the levels of investment required to build market share and profits within this highly competitive and challenging trading environment are significantly higher than had originally been envisaged.
The business is currently working with its people and suppliers to oversee a controlled closure, which is expected to result in fewer than 20 redundancies.
When the Feasegate store opened in 2014, the Cloggs managing director said: “What drew us here over all the other cities in the UK is the fact that it is home to so many independent shops and offers so much more than the usual high streets up and down the UK.”
Only one left
The loss of Cloggs would leave Feasegate with only one standalone shop – Hotter, another footwear specialist. Patisserie Valerie is part-shop, part-café.
Earlier this month we reported how another retailer on the street was set to become a café.
Caffè Nero has applied to turn 19-23 Feasegate into a coffee shop.
The building is now empty. It was most recently the New Stories bargain bookshop.
The café plans drew concern from Phil Pinder, chairman of York Retail Forum, who told YorkMix: “We do not want to see any more shops turned into cafes, restaurants or food outlets.”
As long ago as 2011, City of York Council was voicing its own concern about the street’s loss of retailing.
That was before the closure of BHS, which had an entrance on the street, and a number of other shops.
When Patisserie Valerie applied to turn the old Athena shop into a café, a report to planners said that Feasegate was a primary shopping street.
On such streets, no more than 35% of ground floor businesses are supposed to be non-shops. In 2011 the street had already reached that number.
In a report connected