Two more shops face closure in town centre

THE ALBION shopping precinct looks set to lose two stores, putting jobs at risk and prompting more fears over the state of Ilkeston town centre.

Popular clothes shop M&Co in the Albion Centre, off Bath Street, announced it will be closing its doors for good on May 31.

It is understood the reason behind the closure is that the firm cannot afford an increase in rent so bosses have decided not to renew the lease on the unit.

Shopper Denise Thompson said she was ‘deeply upset’ by the closure.

“Ilkeston will soon be a ghost town,” she said.

“It is time the council stepped in.”

A spokesman for the firm confirmed the rumours this week.

She said: “This has been a very recent decision and we are in the process of consulting with our staff and are trying to relocate as many of them as possible to alternative stores.

“Our customers can continue to shop with M&Co in our Belper store in King Street or online at www.mandco.com.”

Computer game retailer Game, which also has a branch in the Albion Centre, confirmed that some of its suppliers were refusing to do business with it, sending its share prices plummeting.

The firm said its future looks ‘uncertain’, meaning a potential loss of 600 stores – including the Ilkeston one – and 6,000 jobs nationwide.

A spokesman said: “While these discussions are ongoing, it has not been possible to source new products from a number of suppliers.

“The board of Game is working actively to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

“This includes ongoing discussions with suppliers, seeking access to the original facility or alternative sources of funding, and reviewing the position of all of its assets in the UK and international territories.

“It is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the company.”