A shoe shop which has served customers in a town for at least 20 years is closing for good.

Clarks in the Bury Street precinct in Abingdon served customers for the last time today (Monday, April 22). 

The popular footwear chain was founded in 1825 and operated across over 1,400 stores and franchises internationally at its peak but, as of July 2023, the brand had just 320 stores.

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A member of staff at the shop in the precinct said there had not been a lot of notice before the closure.

Oxford Mail: Clarks in AbingdonA sign in the window informs shoppers that the shop will be shut for good from tomorrow.

It says: "As of Tuesday 23 April this store will be closed. Thank you for your custom."

The member of staff said: "This shop was run as a franchise - I have worked for the franchise for at least 20 years and the shop has been open for much longer than that."

There are also Clarks shoe shops in Cornmarket in Oxford, in Didcot, Wallingford, Witney and Banbury.

Oxford Mail: Clarks in Abingdon is closingShoppers said on Facebook they were sad to see Clarks in Abingdon go.

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One mum said: "Oh no - we were planning on popping in for children’s shoes on Thursday."

Another shopper added: "What’s happening? Where will people go to get some decent fitting shoes for their children."

The chain has closed a number of other branches, including its shops in Newbury, Norwich, and Westwood Cross Shopping Centre in Kent.

But Clarks did open a new store in Newcastle's Eldon Square shopping centre last year.

Oxford Mail: Clarks is closingClarks shut its Bicester Village shop at the end of last year.

A spokesman for Clarks said at the time: "Clarks confirms its store at the Bicester Outlet Village, will close at the end of December 2023.

“We have a strong duty of care to all our employees, and we are working closely with the store team as they go through a period of consultation.

“We thank them all for their dedication in serving our customers over the years.

“We’d like to thank our loyal customers who have shopped with us at our Bicester store, and we’ll be delighted to continue to serve them with our full range of products online and at our nearby Clarks stores in Oxford, Banbury and Witney.”

It is understood that the Clarks branch in Wallingford is run by the franchise which ran the Abingdon store.

The cost of living crisis, high inflation and energy costs have been taking their toll on retailers.

Shoppers have been cutting back on spending, while the cost of actually running a store has also increased.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium last summer found the UK had lost 6,000 stores over five years.

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