Like many people living in our town, I am incredibly concerned by the closing down signs that appeared in the windows of House of Fraser. This is a cause of great concern not just for the store’s staff – who have been plunged in terrible economic uncertainty – but also for our whole town.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, I said:

“Back in 2018 billionaire Mike Ashley threatened to close Beatties of Birkenhead, a landmark store in the town for decades, after his purchase of the House of Fraser Group.


Beatties had been bought up by House of Fraser back in 2005.


As a result of local pressure, the store stayed open. But it seems now that this was a mere stay of execution and the “Closing Down Sale” signs have been plastered on the store front windows.


The notice on the front entrance announces the closure as being scheduled for March 2020.


Staff at the store have been told that this decision has been prompted by the landlord.


They have been given no further information and are being kept in the dark about what is going on other than that their place of work is shutting down.


This sudden announcement is a terrible blow, not only to the staff who face uncertainty over their jobs, but also to the town’s shopping centre.


We need commercial growth in Birkenhead not economic vandalism.


I want to know what has led to this terrible state of affairs and will be seeking full transparency regarding the business arrangements that have been agreed between the landlord and Mike Ashley.


This is the least we can expect when a town centre is being ravaged and people are faced with the prospect of the ever-lengthening dole queue in my constituency.”

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