House of Fraser store closes in Shrewsbury

House of Fraser, Shrewsbury
Image caption The store is likely to become a multi-use building with independent retailers, offices and accommodation

Department store House of Fraser closed its Shrewsbury branch on Saturday after 150 years of trading in the town.

The chain went into administration last year, but there was hope the Shrewsbury store would be saved when Sports Direct took over in August.

However, it was decided the store should close with the Telford branch, 15 miles away, remaining open.

It is unlikely the town will have a department store again, a member of the chamber of commerce said.

Staff members past and present gathered at the store during the afternoon to say goodbye.

The Shrewsbury store was previously known as Rackhams and before that, Della Portas.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of the town’s Chamber of Commerce, said it was a sad day and that the closure felt “almost like a bereavement”.

He also said it was unlikely the town would have a department store again because the world of retail is changing.

“I think the building is iconic, it is located strategically in the middle of town and I think it is highly likely it will become multi-use – with offices, accommodation and independent units within it,” he said.

People are more likely now to treat Shrewsbury as a destination to visit independent retailers, rather than as somewhere to pop in and shop, he added.

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