Belfast Telegraph

CastleCourt store at risk of closure due to rates hike

By Ravender Sembhy

The Belfast premises of plus-size retailer N Brown could face closure as it announced plans to shut up to five loss-making stores as it grapples with business rates hikes and falling footfall.

The firm said the decision to shut up to five Simply Be and Jacamo outlets - some one-third of the total - takes into account "weak high street footfall, both current and predicted, together with significant future business rate increases for some stores".

There is a Simply Be and Jacamo in Belfast's CastleCourt Shopping Centre. A spokeswoman said there were no details on which stores face closure.

N Brown also released a trading update, with first quarter sales up 5.6%, driven by a strong ladieswear performance.

Online revenue accounted for 71% of total sales.

Chief executive Angela Spindler said up to five loss-making stores would shut due to "weak footfall in some locations, and with a clear focus on driving financial returns".

Simply Be and Jacamo opened up in CastleCourt three years ago, in a unit formerly occupied by fashion retailer Republic.    

Belfast Telegraph