One of Chorley’s best known retailers has confirmed he’s closed for good to make way for a new Asda superstore.
Speculation has been growing about the future of QS Fashions after owner Simon Yates closed the sprawling site at the top of Pall Mall last month.
At the time he said it was to do a stock take, but now he’s revealed that he decided to quit after being served with a notice to leave in readiness for a new 44,000 sq ft Asda store being built.
The supermarket giant is due to start building work in 2012 and Mr Yates, who is the managing director of QS Fashions Discount Outlets store, said the uncertainty made it impossible to keep trading.
He said: “We didn’t have to vacate the site immediately but we decided to leave because the uncertainty was not good for business.
“I didn’t own the building. Asda bought it and they became our landlords.
“I had six months to leave but I couldn’t buy stock knowing we were leaving because I would have been left with it.
“I’ve been at that site for 12 years and I’m still looking at addresses in Chorley.
“If I find a new site we’ll be back in Chorley.”
Mr Yates said the staff had all left and believes building work on the multi-million pound superstore is imminent.
The owners of two neighbouring businesses said they were concerned the building could become an eyesore before the works start.
A glass door is currently boarded up and several slates are missing from the roof.
Nigel West, owner of Marshalls Florists, said: “It’s been common knowledge that Asda is coming.
“QS have had this ‘closing down sale’ sign for ages. We think it’s a case of the sooner the better.
“We can’t stop it. It’s progress. Hopefully it will bring business to this part of town.”
Martin Bromley, boss of engineering firm Tunit, said: “I think it’s a shame if it’s going to be left empty and Asda don’t start work for 12 months.”
Asda confirmed that the building work would start next year. A spokesman said: “We are looking forward to progressing our plans for a store in Market Street. The plans will help regenerate a disused and unsightly site in the town centre as well as creating significant employment opportunities for local people.”