Another Clarks shoe shop closes in market town

Shoppers in Abingdon were shocked when the town’s Clarks in Bury Street precinct closed for good on Monday.

Staff had served customers for at least 20 years and there was very little notice of the closure.

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Now it has emerged that the Wallingford branch of Clarks in St Mary’s Street, thought to be part of the same franchise, has also closed.

A member of staff at KP Stationers said: “We did hear a rumour that Clarks was going to shut.

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A spokesman for Clarks said: “Clarks confirms its stores in Abingdon and Wallingford have closed.

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

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

One anonymous Wallingford shopper said: “I feel very sad as the shop has been there most of my life.

“I feel for the staff and hope they are successful in finding alternative employment. The manager has always been so helpful and cheerful.

“There will be a number of factors causing this closure.”

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Another said: “We used to buy all of our shoes there as kids. The fish tank kept us occupied.”

Another customer added: “I remember years back when you came to Wallingford it was a nice place to shop. Now we have got charity shops, cafes, estate agents.

“Now you can’t keep telling me what a wonderful place it is to live – carnival, bonfire night and Bunkfest – that’s it folks.”

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