Chester is becoming ‘a ghost town’ thanks to ‘crippling rates’ and ‘run of the mill scruffy shops’.
These are just some of the things angry readers had to say about shopping in Chester on social media after we reported that the Disney Store on Foregate Street was up for lease on retail property website Barker Proudlove .
There has been intense speculation that the store, which first opened in 1994, will close on September 20 due to high rates, but the Disney Store have so far refused to respond to any of The Chronicle’s attempts at contact to officially confirm this.
But the store (11-13 Foregate Street) is still listed for a 10-year lease on the Leeds-based letting website for a sum of £280,000 as of October 2017, when the current lease expires.
It comes just weeks after we reported that the Foregate Street branch of Argos is to close in December when it moves into Sainsbury’s supermarket - and the news has sparked anger from hundreds of readers who branded Chester ‘full of pound stores’ and ‘a ghost town’.
Margaret Kozyra wrote: “Chester was once the place to shop, when I lived there you could guarantee that whatever you needed you were able to buy, and also they had so many beautiful shops. However, now you have charity, mobile and run of the mill scruffy shops. I cannot believe the rents that are being charged. Bring back old Chester and make your city proud again.”
Hugo Carpenter said ‘Chester has lost a little piece of magic’, while Alli Elizabeth wrote: “There’ll only be pound shops and mobile phone shops left in Chester soon! No-one will want to visit Chester when it’s a ghost town.”
In the past few years, Chester has seen a number of well known stores close their doors, including BHS, Gap, Millets and Whistles to name a few.
Several readers lamented how much Chester was ‘dwindling away’ from ‘what used to be a shopping haven’ to a city ‘that has less and less to offer now the big high street names have gone.’
However, it wasn’t all negative - Robert Foulkes wrote: “Chester is a great city with plenty to offer to those who are willing to come in and take the time to look around!”
There was no response at The Chronicle's request for comment from Baker Proudlove at the time of publication.