THE town centre's House of Fraser closed yesterday - weeks earlier than expected.

The Adver reported last week that the large retail space inside the Brunel Shopping Centre was due to close in December after signs saying just that appeared in the shop's windows, but then it suddenly shut ahead of schedule.

A few shoppers popped in to pick up some last-minute bargains in the 20-per-cent-off sale while staff cleared away most of the clothes rails, emptied the shelves, moved the furniture and took down signage.

It is understood that 58 jobs have been affected by the closure.

The vast two-floor space was mostly empty by the afternoon, showing that whoever takes it on next will have big shoes to fill.

The Canal Walk outlet store had intended to close last year but was saved the day before its final date in September after an 11th-hour rent deal was a agreed between the retail giant's owners Fraser Group and Swindon shopping centre bosses

But this time, the closure has gone ahead and will be permanent.

A spokeswoman for House of Fraser said: “It is with regret that we announce the closure of House of Fraser, Swindon.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication. 

"Where possible, we are committed to finding new roles within the group for all staff.”

Adver readers were saddened by the loss of another big brand from the heart of Swindon.

Lucy Bell called it an "end of an era" while Janet Shaw said: "So sad. Mcilroys a few years ago was a big store, then Debenhams and now House of Fraser."

The Debenhams store on The Parade closed in March 2020 for the first lockdown along with non-essential retailers around the country but one month later, the company announced it would not be reopening. 

Commenter SwinCity0 said: "Hopefully, like the plans suggested, it gets knocked down and turned into two apartment blocks rather than being left empty forever."

These plans were submitted by FI Real Estate Management, which owns the Brunel Shopping Centre, with the aim of building two towers with nearly 300 flats between them next to Canal Walk and Wharf Green, including restaurants, bars, cafes and other leisure facilities at the towers' base.


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