Jobs to be axed as falling sales blamed for closure of stationery retailer in Peterborough

Colemans in Peterborough is set to close in April.
Colemans in Peterborough is set to close in April.
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Falling sales and tough competition have been blamed for the closure of a long-established stationery retailer in Peterborough.

Five part-time members of staff will be made redundant when Colemans, in Cowgate, closes at the end of April after 36 years' trading in the city.

Karen Holmes, group operations manager for Colemans, said: "It has been a very difficult decision to close Colemans of Peterborough – certainly one that we have not taken lightly.

"The reason is simple.

"We trade on the same High Street as the myriad of other retailers who have found that diminishing sales and fierce price competition have adversely affected their profitability.

She added: "I can confirm that, with the greatest regret, the Peterborough closure will mean that five part-time staff will be made redundant.

"As yet we do not have a final closure date but it is likely to be at the end of April 2019.

Ms Holmes said: "On a positive note our existing commercial business, where we deliver office supplies to account customers, will be serviced from our site at Oundle.

"This will allow us to transfer one full-time member of staff from Peterborough to Oundle.

"We continue to trade profitably from 11 other sites in the East Midlands and offer all customers free often same-day, delivery with no minimum order value.

"Orders for delivery can be placed on our website or via the ‘phone.

"Our future plans include further developing our web presence and the opening of a new outlet next to our successful Craft Warehouse near the Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre which will offer plenty of nearby free parking."

Chris Fuller, chairman of the Cowgate Traders Association and owner of Pawnbrokers Gold and Gems Jewellers, in Cowgate, said: "It is very sad that Colemans is to close and it is particularly sad for the staff who will lose their jobs.

"Cowgate has suffered with a lack of footfall for some time but there are a lot of plans in the pipeline to build trade for businesses here.

"I think we will see a big difference in six months time."

Cowgate is dotted with empty units, including the former Crown Post Office, the Italian restaurant Topo Gigio’s and an estate agents that moved out recently.

Increasing the number of visitors to the edge of city centre street has been a headache for traders and civic leaders alike for many years.

About five years ago, Peterborough City Council spent some £800,000 on a refurbishment scheme in Cowgate to restore shop fronts to their former Victorian glory and brighten the street's appearance in a bid to attract more shoppers.