End of an era as Staveleigh Way shop closes at end of January
Burton, nationwide purveyor of smart suits and casual menswear, is set to end a 90+ year association with Ashton-under-Lyne. The retailer, part of Philip Green’s Arcadia Group will close its Staveleigh Way branch on the 31 January 2015 (this coming Saturday). Its sister retailer, Dorothy Perkins too, will cease trading from the same address.
From February, Ashton’s nearest Burton store will be the Burton Outfit store on Crown Point North retail park, Denton. Its nearest ‘proper’ Burton store will be at Manchester Arndale. The nearest branches of Dorothy Perkins will be in Crown Point North in Denton, and the Spindles Shopping Centre, Oldham (as a concession within BHS).
Burton’s connections with Ashton go a long way when as “The Cross-Tailoring Company”, they took a unit on the corner of Stamford Street and Delamere Street. After floating on the London Stock Exchange in 1929, they built exquisite stores with an upmarket air about them. Typically, they included billiard halls on the first floor with Ashton’s branch on Old Square, opposite Yates’ Wine Lodge.
Today, the former branch includes a closed nightclub and two retail units. If you look carefully, you can still see the foundation stone. In 1967, Burton moved to its soon to be closed unit in today’s Ladysmith Shopping Centre. Dorothy Perkins was originally next to the Nationwide Building Society under the precinct’s office block.
In 1998, refurbishment and the renaming of the shopping precinct saw changes to the Burton store. Dorothy Perkins moved to its ground floor, making way for Music and Video Club (now today’s Specsavers unit). Burton’s would occupy the ground floor.
In the last five years, Arcadia Group has had a policy of closing smaller stores, where rents may have been less favourable. This has been the case with its Hyde, Oldham and Altrincham branches. Sometimes, the Burton and Dorothy Perkins range have been incorporated with branches of British Home Stores (as at Oldham).
Arcadia Group’s sole outlet in Ashton will be TopShop/TopMan next to Bargain Buys and McDonalds. For smart chain store menswear, this leaves Next in the Arcades Shopping Centre, with other options out-of-town in Ashton Moss (Marks and Spencer), Snipe Retail Park, or Crown Point North.
From an Ashton sense, has the popularity of out-of-town shopping seen Tameside’s well-heeled customers go to the intu Trafford Centre, nearby retail parks or central Manchester? Could the lack of local spending power be the reason behind Ashton’s number of discount stores and charity shops in addition to the lack of suitable units (the latter cited by some commercial landlords)? What effect has online shopping had on the borough’s populace?
We hope the staff at Staveleigh Way are gainfully employed in the Arcadia Group’s other shops and wish them well.
S.V., 26 January 2015.