Jobs fears as big firm leaves town

Comet in Chorley

Comet in Chorley

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A major retailer has announced that it will be closing down in Chorley.

The Comet store on the Highfield Industrial Estate in North Street, will close on February 25.

It is not known how many jobs will go.

The news has shocked traders and politicians in Chorley.

Lindsay Hoyle, MP, said: “It is a shame that we have a company that has been trading for many years in the town and has a such long established business.

“Our thoughts go out to those who are losing their jobs as part of the closure.

“Once again it shows that the economy is not doing well and Chorley is paying the price for that.

“It will leave a major retail space needing to be filled and it appears people will be losing choice of where to shop.

“On the back of this, there is also news that 400 engineers across Lancashire are losing their jobs.

“These are skilled people and this can only have a big affect on unemployment figures in the area.”

Last year, the store faced an uncertain future after it featured on a list of 22 potential sites being offered for sale to buyers.

Also among the named sites on the list are Blackburn and Bolton. The news has rocked local traders and they fear Comet may not be the last big name retailer to close in the town.

Malcolm Allen, chairman of the Chorley Traders’ Alliance, believes it is time to rise above the news and rally above the big names.

He said: “Again we have another major retailer pulling out of the town which reduces choice of visitors.

“We need Chorley to get back to having niche specialist shops to try to be different from every other town or city such as Blackburn or Bolton which rely on big name stores.

“The main reason traders in the town centre are successful is because they are independent traders who are cutting their cloths.

“It is a concern that we are losing jobs in the area.

“Competition plays a key role in this decision to close as Tesco has moved into the white good market and they are selling electricals.

“Firms such as Comet are also under pressure by internet sales as well.”

A spokesman for Comet said; “Last May, we announced we would be closing a handful of retail stores as leases expire.

“There are no current plans for a wider store closure programme.

“Sadly, this store is one of the those affected and it is due to close its doors on Saturday February 25.

“This in no way reflects the commitment and efforts of our local employees and we’ll make every effort to help them find alternative employment.”