Preston menswear store saved after new deal is agreed

Last-gasp reprieve: The Greenwoods store in Orchard Street, Preston

Last-gasp reprieve: The Greenwoods store in Orchard Street, Preston

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A threatened city centre store is to stay open after bosses negotiated a new lease.

Greenwoods, in Orchard Street, Preston, was earmarked for closure in October.

The company’s bosses said the shop had become unviable, partly because of rates and rental costs.

Now Greenwoods has confirmed it has negotiated a new deal with the private landlord – and the shop is staying open.

Store manager Imran Khan said: “It’s a great relief to us. We are very pleased. It had got to the stage where we didn’t know what was going to happen.

“We are now re-stocking and we are looking forward to reopening.”

“Closing Down” signs that have been in the windows for weeks have now been replaced with new banners saying “We are staying in Preston”.

Mr Khan said he and the two other members of staff were relaunching the store tomorrow.

The firm has had a shop in the city for more than 50 years.

Greenwoods, which has its head office in Bradford, opened its first shop in 1860 selling hats to the wool Barons of Yorkshire.

Retail consultant Mark Fitzsimmons said in October the decision to close the shop had been taken with extreme regret and was a reflection of the battle for small outlets to remain profitable on the high street.

High business rates and rents are said to be part of the problem.

The Lancashire Evening Post has joined forces with other sister Johnston Press papers to call for business rates to be frozen immediately and demand an urgent review of the system.

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