Blow to Mansfield and Ashfield economy as Jonathan James announce closure plans

Jonathan James shoe shop, Low Street, Sutton.

Jonathan James shoe shop, Low Street, Sutton.

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THE high street has been dealt a major blow in the weeks before Christmas after it was revealed that two well-known shops in Mansfield and Ashfield are set to close down.

Signs have appeared in the windows at the Jonathan James shoe stores in Mansfield and Sutton announcing their closure.

Attempts have been made by the Chad to speak to bosses at the firm’s head office, which is on Carter Lane in Mansfield, but no-one has been available for comment so far.

George Cowcher, who is Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said that businesses need to be given a helping hand to improve the area’s high streets and counter the effects of online shopping.

He said: “It’s a shame to see such a popular brand leave the high street, particularly so close to Christmas, which is a crucial time for the retail sector.

“What it does show, however, is that there are still many challenges which shop owners and retailers - particularly smaller and independent stores - must face.

“The high street is still under increasing pressure from falling customer footfall and the huge growth in online spending and retailers need to be given every opportunity to be as competitive as they possibly can be, whether that be from discounted rents or business rates through to investment in initiatives to bring people back into town centres to spend.”