SEVERAL shops in Oxford city centre remain closed, three months after the end of the retail lockdown, writes Eirian Prosser.

Cath Kidston and T.M. Lewin have permanently shut their stores in the city’s Westgate centre as part of a national closure.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the travel agents Flight Centre would permanently close its store in Queen Street. It was the first out of the 75 Flight Centre stores nationwide to have its closure confirmed. The company has since shut over 23 stores in its home country of Australia.

Last month STA travel, the well known student travel company, closed its doors in the UK resulting in 500 job losses. The Oxford branch on George Street was subsequently closed.

Over 900 jobs nationwide were lost due to the closure of Cath Kidston. The shutdown of TM Lewin stores resulted in 600 job losses.

Fashion shop Guess, bakery and cafe Le Pain Quotidien, chocolate shop Godiva, and jewellers Carat in the Westgate still remain closed with no set date to reopen.

Godiva could not confirm a reopening date.

Le Pain Quotidien, Guess and Carat were unable to provide a reopening date.

Currently, Guess and Le Pain Quotidien claim to be temporarily closed. Both companies, however, have announced they will be making significant job cuts and closing some stores. On June 12 Le Pain Quotidien announced that it would be making 200 staff redundancies national.

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The popular Belgian bakery was forced to close 63 of its 98 stores in America last month.

Guess also announced in June that it would be closing over 100 stores worldwide. Again, it is unknown whether the Oxford store is among them.

Oxford Mail:

Godiva and Carat have not reported any permanent closure plans.

Neither shop, however, has given a reopening date for their Westgate location.

‘Non-essential shops’ were allowed to reopen on June 15 but some, such as John Lewis did not reopen until later.

Blackwell’s has now reopened two of its three Oxford stores, and is awaiting to reopen the Westgate bookshop in ‘due course’.

Away from the city centre, the Laura Ashley store in Summertown has also permanently closed.