Staff at Hatfield New Look ‘completely devastated’ by news store will close

PUBLISHED: 12:22 26 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:22 26 October 2020

New Look, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

New Look, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

New Look, the last clothes shop still standing in Hatfield town centre, will shut its doors next year.

New Look, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOONew Look, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

The store was given their notice to vacate the property after New Look disagreed with the Prideview Group over rent, the WHT has learned.

The retailer has told the WHT that it is not releasing a statement, but did confirm the store will be closing on January 10, 2021.

It has also expressed sadness to employees at the store, and is looking into redeploying some of the staff who work there – and perhaps taking on a new site.

A staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, told the WHT: “We as a store are completely devastated. They can try and find us positions elsewhere but we know that there isn’t much there. There are no store mangers positions anywhere near.

“As for myself and my other store supervisor, we will have to have a drop on hours. I’m a single parent and I can’t afford that. We can’t believe it. The town is in an awful state.”

There are also a concern that the shop will be turned into flats, as permitted development rights are set to be expanded to allow conversion from shops to residential without planning permission being sought from the local authority.

Prideview Group said that New Look had not been keeping up with rental payments and there had been some interest in the site.

However, the commercial property firm dismissed the rumours that it could be turned into flats saying there was no plans at the moment.

It also said part of the decision was motivated by New Look entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement – a form of agreement that allows companies with debt issues to agree a way to make repayments to its creditors, in 2018.

A 2019 planning application – which has been granted – will see the ground and basement level retained for retail use. The first floor will be converted and extended to four storeys of 47 student flats and associated ground floor cycle and refuse storage.

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