Clarks and Shoezone will pull the shutters on a handful of sites around the UK in a devastating blow to shoppers.
The iconic British brands both offer online shopping but will see the number of physical stores massively reduced in the lead-up to Christmas.
Shoezone, which currently has more than 300 branches, will lose three brick-and-mortar locations before the end of the year, the retailer confirmed.
It comes following a series of closures that have seen almost a dozen of its stores disappear throughout 2023 from England’s south coast, right up to Scotland.
According to the shoe shop giant, the decision is part of plans to upgrade to “big box and hybrid” format stores instead of its original, smaller sites.
Shoezone shops closing in 2023
Norfolk will lose its Shoezone branch on Church Street, Cromer this December.
An exact date is yet to be confirmed for its closure, according to staff, though customers have already spotted closing down signs in the store’s window.
The retailer is also expected to lose its store in Westgate Street, Ipswich, where it is currently offering sale prices, and will close alongside the branches in Newton Abbot and Watford.
The high street chain has already closed 11 branches this year including:
- London Road, Waterlooville, Portsmouth
- High Street, Southend
- The Drapery, Northampton
- Bell Centre, Melton, Leicestershire
- Broad Street, Seaford, East Sussex
- Well Croft, Shipley
- Longton Exchange Shopping Centre, Stoke-on-Trent
- Dockhead Street, Saltcoats
- Broadmead Shopping Centre, Bristol
- Grand Junction Retail Park, Crewe
- Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, Edinburgh
It’s not the end of the retailer’s stint on the British high street, however, with some sites confirmed to be replaced with bigger and better shops.
Earlier in May, Shoezone in Southend ceased trading for good, though it was quickly replaced with a unit on the High Street later that month. The shop in The Drapery, Northampton was also replaced with a new shop nearby along with the Newport store on the Isle of Wight which closed in September.
Elsewhere on high streets, Britons could also lose their local Clarke store as part of plans to reduce its expansive collection of stores to around 290.
Clarks shops closing this year
The chain has already closed three shops this year with another in Grimsby planned to go by the end of October. A further four shops have been forecast to exit high streets by the end of 2023.
Clarks claims that it is working with store teams and employees affected by the closures.
The popular footwear chain was founded in 1825 and once operated across over 1,400 stores and franchises internationally. As of July 2023, however, the brand operated just 320 stores.
Clarks locations closing in 2023:
- Freshney Place Shopping Centre, Grimsby -end of October
- Westwood Cross Shopping Centre, Kent – mid-November
- Newport Retail Park, Spytty – mid-November
- Riverside Retail Park store in Norwich – November
- High Street in Newcastle under Lyme – by the end of 2023
Like Shoezone, Clarks has replaced some closed sites with new ones nearby. The brand opened a new store on East Street in Taunton following the closure of its original high street store in April this year.
Express.co.uk has contacted Clarks and Shoezone for comment