Oldrids closure plan is a body blow for staff - and for Boston, says council leader

Oldrids of Boston is facing closureOldrids of Boston is facing closure
Oldrids of Boston is facing closure
The leader of Boston Council has described plans to close down Boston’s Oldrids store as a “body blow” for the town and the shop’s staff.

Oldridge and Downtown announced today that it is proposing not to re-open Oldrids of Boston, its store in the town centre after, 216 years of trading.

The devastating announcement came on the back of the coronavirus outbreak, the company said in its statement that that even before the pandemic trading had been very challenging.

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Reacting to the news, council leader Coun Paul Skinner said: “This is a huge body blow for Boston and for the loyal staff at Oldrids, especially coming in the midst of a devastating and damaging pandemic.

“The Council has been working with all local businesses throughout Covid-19 and have advised of other schemes available to maximise online presence and customer-based sales, including funding availability.

“I am truly saddened that two centuries of retail history is about to disappear from our high street at a time when we were beginning to see the first signs of recovery,” he said.

“Coming in the wake of the closure of M&S, this is a heart-breaking moment for the town, and our thoughts are with those who will lose their jobs as a result of this decision.

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“We hope the Oldrids name will continue at the Downtown store at Wyberton, and Boston Borough Council will continue to offer its support, as it has always done in the past, to ensure our retailers survive and thrive.”

In its statement released today, Oldridge and Downtown said “regretfully and with very heavy hearts” the company is proposing not to reopen the store, and that it should close permanently.

Martin Isaac, chairman of Oldrid & Co. Ltd, said: ‘Our Board of Directors is acutely aware of the impact that this proposed closure is likely to have on our employees, and upon Boston, and hope it goes without saying that the decision to put forward this proposal has not been taken lightly.

“Given that we have been trading in the town for more than two centuries, and considering the very many cherished memories that so many people have of Oldrids Boston, in happier, busier times, we will not be alone in finding it genuinely upsetting to contemplate the centre of Boston without Oldrids.

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“But we have a responsibility to build a sustainable business for the future, and protect jobs and livelihoods.”

He went on: “A process of consultation has now begun with those employees who are likely to be affected by the proposed closure, should it go ahead, and all options will, of course, be explored in order to avoid or minimise redundancies.”

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