“Axminster’s biggest town centre shop is to close – with the loss of 19 jobs.
Trinity House department store is expected to cease trading towards the end of the year – probably in September.
Its owners – Goulds of Dorchester – say it is the victim of the nation’s changing shopping habits which have seen many people switch to on-line buying.
In statement they told The Herald: “As a result of an ongoing review the directors of Goulds (Dorchester) Ltd have announced their decision to cease trading at Trinity House.
“It is expected that the store will close at the end of September 2019, but the actual closing date is yet to be confirmed.
“The store was acquired on leasehold terms in November 2015 along with the premises known as TH2, which housed linens and housewares, until its replacement in 2017 by Costa Coffee.
“Despite having made a considerable investment in the business in an effort to make the Axminster store viable, current trading conditions, coupled with the continuing economic pressures on the department store sector, dictate that the business can no longer sustain an unprofitable branch store in Axminster.
“The company realise that this closure will be a major blow to the town. But even with sympathetic support from the local landlords it has been impossible to stem losses. In common with so many other retailers we are suffering the effects of on-line competition and a change in shopping habits.
“We are deeply sorry at having to take this action not least because our colleagues have done their utmost to help make the store successful and our regular customers will feel the disappointment of losing the only department store in town.”
Axminster county and district councillor Ian Hall said the closure would be a blow to the local economy.”