New Wigan town centre misery as two jewellers announce their departure

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Two more gems in Wigan town centre’s fading crown are to wink out of existence.

Just days after Next became the latest retailer to put up its shutters, two major jewellers said they too were pulling out.Beaverbrooks, which has occupied the Standishgate entrance to the Galleries since the mall opened 30 years ago says it is leaving town with great regret, unable to find a suitable alternative unit for when the Galleries25 demolition work gets under way in earnest.

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And just a stone’s throw away, another jeweller - Chisholm Hunter in a prominent unit at the entrance to the Grand Arcade - is also leaving town.It is another double blow to Wigan which is desperately trying to reinvent itself as a hospitality, entertainment and accommodation hub as retail fades fast - but that is going to take three years to complete.Standishgate was once a bustling high street, but pan round now and you see an empty former M&S, WHSmith and Yorkshire Bank, soon to be joined by the two jewellers. And that’s not to mention the demise of other major names such as Debenhams and Bhs.A spokesperson for Beaverbrooks, said: “We are saddened to confirm that due to reasons beyond our control, our longstanding Wigan store will be closing in April.“As part of an ongoing redevelopment scheme for Wigan town centre, the current store unit is set to be demolished and replaced with a non-retail project.“We have thoroughly searched the area for alternative premises, but due to a decline in high street investment in the area, we have been unable to find one that would serve as a viable replacement, and so the store will cease trading on Sunday 10 April 2022, with business operating as usual until this time, with a closing down sale.“Since its opening in 1990, the store has enjoyed many successes, and we highly commend and are grateful to our hardworking team for their continued dedication, focus and professionalism.“We will be supporting them with solutions to enable them to continue working at Beaverbrooks.“We would also like to say a big thank you to our loyal customers for shopping with us over the last three decades - thank you for your support. Following the closure, customers will be able to visit our nearby stores in Bolton, Warrington and Manchester.”A spokeswoman for Chisholm Hunter confirmed that the business was quitting Wigan because the lease was up and promised a full statement, but none has yet arrived.Aidan Thatcher, acting director for economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “Wigan Council is committed through The Deal to support our local economy to grow and prosper. We are aware that footfall in the town centre has fallen over the past few years in line with national trends.“This is one of the key reasons we have chosen to move ahead with the Galleries redevelopment. This once in a lifetime regeneration project will transform the town centre and create a more sustainable model for the future that is expected to increase visitor numbers and act as a catalyst for further investment.”

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