Double blow for Larne town centre as two more shops close

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Larne town centre has been hit with a double blow to its retail offering with the closure of two shops over the Christmas and New Year period.

Clarks shoe shop on Main Street closed its doors on Saturday, January 13.

It comes just a few weeks after trading ceased at the O2 branch, located at Laharna Retail Park in the town.

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The Clarks branch in Market Place, Carrickfergus has also closed, with 10 employees affected across both branches of the footwear retailer.

The Larne branch of Clarks closed this month.  Photo: Google mapsThe Larne branch of Clarks closed this month.  Photo: Google maps
The Larne branch of Clarks closed this month. Photo: Google maps

A Clarks spokesperson said: “We’d like to thank our loyal customers who have shopped with us at these stores.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for O2 indicated that the Laharna Retail Park branch has now closed as part of a wider plan to bring all of its stores under company ownership.

“To ensure we deliver the great service O2 customers expect in a competitive environment, we sometimes need to evaluate how our business operates,” the spokesperson added.

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"Following a review of our retail strategy last year, we are ending our franchise relationships, bringing the majority of stores under company ownership to boost our retail estate at the end of existing franchise contracts. We’re working with franchisees to find ways to support their employees through this change.”

Larne has lost a number of high profile retailers in recent years, with Dunnes Stores vacating their Main Street premises in 2019.

Greggs bakery failed to reopen its town centre branch after lockdown in 2020, while a number of clothing retailers such as New Look and Peacock’s pulled out of Laharna Retail Park in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.