Beatties closure 'big blow' in bid to revive Wolverhampton city centre
A leading retail expert says the loss of Beatties from Wolverhampton will be a big blow to efforts to revive the city’s shopping heart.
Nick Wint, head of the retail professional department at Birmingham-based chartered surveyors Johnson Fellows, also warned that more retailers could soon leave the centre of Birmingham in the wake of the announced closure of the Second City’s House of Fraser department store, Rackhams.
He said that the Beatties store in Wolverhampton was the last one to retain the famous name since being acquired by House of Fraser in 2005.
“It was a brand that stood for great service and good quality merchandise,” he added.
“To now see such an iconic brand and building set to disappear is a terrible shame for the city.
“It’ll be a big blow for Wolverhampton, which has been trying to get back on its feet for some time in the face of some stiff competition.
"Shopping habits have changed but there should be a place in every big town and city for a department store like Beatties,” added Mr Wint.
He added that the planned departure of House of Fraser from Birmingham’s shopping centre was a devastating blow which had sent shockwaves through the retail sector.
“The closure of House of Fraser in Corporation Street will be a considerable loss to Birmingham.
“It is an iconic landmark building with a long and successful history.
"It’s a real shame as the city has been on the up recently, with the openings of Grand Central and the redevelopment of the Pavillions for Primark’s new store.
“It’s a devastating blow to the area around Corporation Street and, in particular, the smaller shops that need the footfall the store generates.
"They are now facing an uncertain future.”
Mr Wint added: “It’s difficult to see how Corporation Street will ever recover as one of the city’s main shopping streets.”