LOCALS have claimed their shopping centre has been “ruined” after the sudden closure of a historic jewellers.

The retailer – Goldsmiths – announced that their Belfast Forestside Shopping Centre branch closed due to wanting to “focus” on different locations.

Locals said that it's yet another 'decent' shop in the area gone


Locals said that it’s yet another ‘decent’ shop in the area goneCredit: Google Review

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the closure has come after Goldsmiths decided against renewing their lease – which could result in a number of redundancies for locals currently working there.

Margaret McClelland, centre manager at Forestside, said it was “unfortunate” to see the business leave the shopping centre.

She added: “Goldsmiths as a business have made a strategic decision to focus on city centre stores as an alternative to shopping centre locations.

“This is their policy directive across the UK and thus fundamental in their decision not to renew the tenancy agreement at Lesley Forestside.

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“It is unfortunate to see them go, especially given they have been a long-term tenant at the centre.”

The news was posted on social media and locals have vented their frustration at the closure in the comments – in what seems to be yet another sign that high street shopping is on death’s door.

One local, Gina, said: “So sorry to hear this, beautiful rings.”

A second local, Amanda, said: “Sad day to lose another decent shop in Forestside.”

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A third local said: “It will be charity shops brought in next.”

A fourth local, Pete, said: “Most shopping centres are going to go due to internet shopping and low footfalls.”

A fifth local said: “Not enough footfall coming through the doors.”

And it’s not the only store in the centre that recently closed – as coffee shop General Merchants also shut their doors to make way for work being carried out.

The news adds to the constant worry from shoppers that high street stores will soon be a thing of the past as online shopping continues to explode with every new generation that’s born.

News of major retailers closing is becoming more frequent each year, and high street heavy hitters like Boots, WHSmith and Lidl have all announced closures – some as early as next month.

It comes as shop owners saw the volume of products sold drop over Christmas at its fastest rate in three years – dipping to 3.2 per cent in data suggested by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Just last week shoppers were saddened to see a branch of Zara close in Telford on Jan 26.

And, Outdoor clothes shop Trespass pulled down the shutters at its outlet in Blackburn, Lancashire, a few days ago.

Multiple shops have already been closed up and down the country this year


Multiple shops have already been closed up and down the country this yearCredit: Getty

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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