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Thetford braced for New Year jobs blow

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:22 07 July 2010

THETFORD is bracing itself for a jobs blow in the new year when two well-known retailers leave the town.

The shelves are almost empty at the Woolworths branch in King Street as staff prepare to close the town centre store for the final time on Monday.

THETFORD is bracing itself for a jobs blow in the new year when two well-known retailers leave the town.

The shelves are almost empty at the Woolworths branch in King Street as staff prepare to close the town centre store for the final time on Monday.

It also emerged at the weekend that Jarrold, which has had a presence in Thetford for the last 15 years, was leaving when the lease of its furniture warehouse comes to an end next year.

The independent family business has already begun a closing down sale at its store in Burrell Way, with up to 70pc off sofas, carpets, beds and dining sets.

Officials at Jarrold said the furniture store was set to permanently shut its doors in February or March and the future of its three workers had not yet been decided.

John Adams, trading director, said the company hoped to transfer its delivery operations to its other furniture branch in Middleton Street, Wymondham.

“It is sad to close a branch, but we have come to the end of our lease in Thetford and we do not own the freehold.

“It is disappointing, but we have another branch in Wymondham. As far as getting to our customer base in south Norfolk, we can cover it successfully in Wymondham and we do not think we will miss customer opportunities.

“We cover the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk for deliveries and we will continue to do so from our two other locations in Norwich and Wymondham,” he said.

Mr Adams said it was hoped the three Thetford employees would be absorbed somewhere else in the business. He also declined to say whether Jarrold had decided not to renew the lease at Burrell Way or whether the warehouse owner had decided to not offer a new lease.

The furniture store was Jarrold's last presence in the town after the company closed its £7m book printing plant in Fison Way in 1999 with the loss of 82 jobs.

The closure of the furniture warehouse is the latest blow for Thetford's retail sector, with 24 people set to be made redundant when the Woolworths store in King Street shuts.

Jarrold, which has been trading in Norwich since 1823, still retains its department, stationery and Pilch sports stores in the city, and in Cromer, Lowestoft, and Wymondham.


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