Primark to close Leeds store - is it the ‘Trinity Effect’? UPDATED

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PRIMARK has announced it will close one of its stores in Leeds city centre after almost 10 years of trading.

As reported in the YEP yesterday, the clothing giant revealed plans to shut its large store on The Headrow in March after almost 10 years of trading, to consolidate its presence in Leeds by developing its Trinity store.

The announcement follows the closure of other shops in that part of town including Burton, Peter Maturi, Dwell and its predecessor Muji.

Ian De-Whytell, owner of Crash Records, which has been a presence on The Headrow for over 20 years, said the closure will add to the ‘Trinity effect’ in pulling shoppers away from the area.

He said: “Trinity is fantastic in what it does but it’s dragged a lot of mainstream shops into one area which has then re-directed the flow of customers, so this part of town suffers as a consequence - and that will continue with the closure of Primark.

“The worry is if it stands empty for any length of time, so we hope someone will move in pretty quickly.

“But it’s a very big shop to take on. The problem is all big name shops are looking at Trinity and the Victoria Gate development, when John Lewis moves in.

“It’d be nice to see someone like Selfridges move in but I doubt that would happen.”

But Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of Leeds-based retail marketing agency Savvy, said the news wasn’t all doom and gloom. She said: “This is another change in the dynamic picture of Leeds city centre but we shouldn’t be too worried. As the Victoria Gate development blossoms out of the rubble of Milgarth, what is emerging is more retail square footage to connect the market area of the city centre.”

The huge shop on The Headrow was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary in August but will close in March.

A Primark spokeswoman said the company is in talks with staff over transfers to nearby stores.

She said: “Primark has decided to consolidate its presence in Leeds city centre by developing its store at Trinity.

“Primark at Leeds Trinity will offer customers a broad product range in a single destination within a newer, larger store.

Primark opened an 81,100sq ft store at Trinity Leeds in December 2013. This site, which was the company’s 264th store, will remain open.

Primark has stores across Europe and plans to open its first shop in America this year.

The Headrow store originally opened as the Paramount Theatre in 1932. It became the Odeon Cinema in 1940, and closed in 2001.

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