Major phone provider closing store today as shoppers blast ‘dying’ high street

SHOPPERS have been left disappointed as a major phone provider is closing its store today.
The network giant’s branch is part of the only two remaining businesses inside a beloved shopping centre set to be torn in Northumberland.

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Several businesses have already left the same site in the last monthCredit: Getty

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Customers have only hours left to visit the EE branch in Blyth one last timeCredit: Getty – Contributor

The EE phone shop in the Keel Row Shopping Centre in Blyth is the last store to to shut its lights off for good.
The council took over the retail complex in July 2023.
But the site has now its days numbered after it was confirmed it will be demolished.
Dozens of stores – including Superdrug, The Works and New Look  – were forced to vacate the premises within weeks.

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EE and Bonmarché were the only ones still standing – with the fashion retailer set to close on February 20.

Locals are now saying its last goodbyes to the popular phone branch before it closes today.

It’s a huge step backwards for Blyth

Reacting to the devastating announcement, customers took to social media to vent their frustration.
One user fumed: “It’s a disgrace how some area have been abandoned. Our high streets are dying.”

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Another penned: “Poor Blyth, our beautiful town.”
Although proposals for what will replace the centre have not been finalised, the site could become a new higher education facility.

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The Energy Central Institute will support the renewable energy industry in the town as part of the Energy Central Campus project.
However, locals feel the move will be a huge blow to their quiet town.
One blasted: “It’s a huge step backwards for Blyth.
“Financially developing and helping the centre thrive again would have been more beneficial to our town centre.”
They said they will now have to commute to their nearest shopping centre in Cramlington to do their shopping.

One explained: “I don’t want to have to shop in Cramlington but shutting the Keelrow is forcing us to shop elsewhere.”
Locals are also pleading the council for more shops in their area.
They said: “We got more houses getting built but we need shops in Blyth please no more Barbours. Blyth is just a total mess.”
Another slammed: “Disgusting it’s the newest shops in Blyth they should get rid of the old ones not the newest.”
The site’s car park has also been bought by the council.
The Willie Carr statue at the site will be stored until a decision on the future of the shopping centre is fully made.

Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for business, told the Northumberland Gazette: “While this does mark the end of an era, retail remains an important part of the town centre and we would encourage people to continue to visit while we improve the town.
“The Keel Row acquisition means we can bring forward more major development in the town centre including investment in educational, innovation and cultural activities.”
Mayor of Blyth Warren Taylor added: “As sad as it is to see the Keel Row close, we are optimistic that the developments taking place on the Market Place such as the culture venue, the proposed higher education facility, and a new hotel, will provide a boost to retailers in the town centre and encourage other businesses to invest.”
Shoppers across the nation are getting hit by more closures as Britain’s retail apocalypse clears off high streets.

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The Body Shop is the latest to call in administrators next week  with the brand set to begin insolvency processes in days.
It is understood the chain – founded by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon – will appoint FRP Advisory in a move affecting around 200 stores, Sky News reports.

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