A fashion store in Chester city centre has shut following a closing down sale.

USC in Foregate Street closed on Wednesday although parent company Sports Direct has declined to give the reasons.

Spokeswoman Lisa Kavanagh said: “I’ve checked with the company and unfortunately they will not be providing a comment on this occasion.”

About 16 staff worked in the clothing store although The Chronicle understands there were opportunities to relocate to other Sports Direct outlets in Chester and on the Wirral.

Staff said the company had not been able to come to an agreement with the landlord and the rents were “too high”. However, it was understood the company was actively looking for another unit in Chester because the firm tended to keep the city centre outlets.

It is not thought USC is interested in the empty M&S premises, also in Foregate Street, because the building is too large.

The store was threatened with closure in 2013 when part of the Republic brand, which went into administration, but was saved when Sports Direct bought the chain.

Sports Direct, which had previously bought the USC group, merged the businesses and the Chester outlet became a USC.

Chester’s previous USC in Eastgate Street closed after USC went into administration in 2008 and is now a Currys PC World.

USC’s parent company Sports Direct, which has outlets in Frodsham Street and on Chester Retail Park, is opening a large 16,500 sq ft store in Grosvenor Shopping Centre.

It will be located on top of a new 23,000 sq ft TK Maxx when both open in 2015 following a £5m conversion. A glass atrium will be created to bring in light and create the ‘wow’ factor for the double-storey entrance.