Following the announcement of the closure of its East Street store by popular retailer Next, it became clear that another clothing giant, New Look, could be on the verge of moving in.
New Look closed its old East Street store on Sunday, but it came after a planning request was submitted asking for permission to install signage at The Corn Exchange – a Grade II listed building.
“It is good to see that New Look still sees Chichester as a positive investment proposition and is keen to maintain its presence on our Main Street,” said Helen Marshall, Vice President and CEO of Chichester Business Improvement District (BID). Read more here
Although Next doesn’t close until October 21, the old New Look store is now vacant and rumors are already circulating about a possible replacement.
Sports Direct and Flannels, both owned by the Frasers group, are said to have planned to move to the site.
An urban planning application has been submitted, asking for permission to repaint the storefront with paint and install new signage.
Meanwhile, internal work is underway at the former Russell and Bromley store on South Street.
The shoe store revealed in August that its closure was due to “unforeseen circumstances” and speculation is rife that retail clothing company Anthropologie may move into the vacant store near Market Cross.
The Frasers group and Anthropologie have so far not responded to requests for comment.
A spokesperson for Chichester District Council said: “We are committed to supporting retailers and businesses both in the city center and across the district. This is more important than ever, especially as our district is recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic.
“To help our businesses get through coronavirus blockages and to help them bounce back from the pandemic, we have provided Covid Recovery grants and issued millions of pounds of Covid-19 government grants.
“We also have a variety of other programs, grants and projects dedicated to supporting neighborhood businesses, such as; a business support contact program, where we work directly with all types of local businesses to offer advice and enable a grant program to give small businesses the opportunity to access finance that will help them grow and develop; a pop-up shop program located in Crane Street, Chichester, which gives local businesses and entrepreneurs the ability to do business in a street location without the commitment or cost of a longer term lease and access to free online training for independent retailers and other interested businesses, with a grant program to follow. “
The council has also developed a strategy and an events program for the district “to encourage greater attendance”.
The spokesperson added: “Examples of events include the recent Summer Street Party in downtown Chichester, which was extremely successful, and the upcoming Cross Market & More event in early November.
“We have also made improvements to our parks and gardens and downtown washrooms to make shoppers and visitors more comfortable and we have also introduced the MiPermit parking app to allow people to stay longer in town and to shop locally.
“We have also run a Shop Local campaign to encourage residents to come together to support their local businesses and we will also be running a local Christmas support campaign.
“This includes a number of parking incentives throughout December, including free parking every December weekend in the Chartres Avenue car park in Chichester and free parking after 4:00 pm in the car park from Chartres Avenue for Christmas lights and nighttime shopping events in Chichester.
“People can also select two hours and get a third free at most municipal parking lots in the neighborhood in December when they use the MiPermit app: www.chichester.gov.uk/mipermit. “
As part of the Chichester Vision, the council is working with partners on “other actions for the main street,” adding: “We are also working to encourage different types of businesses to come and do business in our neighborhood as part of the Chichester Vision. of our new inbound investment strategy, which will also have ripple effects in terms of bringing more people to the city center and the wider neighborhood. “