As eight Midlands Co-op department stores face closure, what might the future hold?

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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3 Responses

  1. Gabby says:

    Don’t think it’s the end for Department stores given that John Lewis are doing so well and still expanding with various formats, including the Home Format Stores, the flexible format in Exeter in the ex Debenhams store and even with new department stores.

    Original Factory Shops might surely look at one or two of these soon to be vacant stores given their continuing growth and value outlook.

    Fenwicks are also still doing well, even House of Fraser had a great christmas as of course did Debenhams. I think clicks and Mortar seem to be benefitting the department stores again.

    The problem for the COOP is they are seen as dated and old fashioned. I too remember the COOP down in London and in Kent but they are now long gone. It’s a shame because had they used their membership status with great service aka John Lewis style they might well have survived. I don’t know these areas or the demographics but I do hope for some if not all the buildings and new tenant’s arrive but don’t be surprised if Poundland take one or two stores as they did that with the former Coop Department Store in Eltham.

  2. WillPS says:

    The gradual loss of the Co-op Department Stores is truly sad, worse is that because it’s been a steady series of closures over a 15-20 year period, it’s gone largely unnoticed by the media, with no single headline job loss to focus on.

    It’s telling that a good amount of the Co-op Department Stores have since been split: Nottingham’s beautiful store on Upper Parliament Street is sadly only beautiful on the outside now; the Broadmarsh store (since Allders and TK Maxx) was also set to be split; Sheffield’s Castle House is already somewhat split with more to follow if rumours are to be believed – the list goes on.

    I think the truth is that Britian has fallen out of love with the department store. The natural reaction normally follows ‘…but John Lewis’ – I think John Lewis’ customer is ageing and will eventually die, and the same is true of most of the department stores I see generally doing well.

    It’s sad, but I’ve got to say even though I enjoy the sense of ‘exploration’ you get uniquely when visiting a department store, I have very little business to offer them. I can only think of one £15 purchase I’ve made in a department store in the last 12-months, and a couple of occasions I’ve had a drink and a scone.

  3. Richard says:

    Good to read this analysis Graham, certainly Chesterfield would be a pity to demolish and redevelope, and from the outside one Sunday coming back from Manchester (trains diverted) it looked a good store. Derby will probably be too big for one retailer so may need subdividing.

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