Portchester shopping precinct to lose another shop as McColl's set to shut

A TOWN shopping precinct is to lose another store – and could lose one of its post offices – in a double-blow for residents

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 11:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 9:29 pm
The McColl's store in West Street, Portchester. Picture: Millie Salkeld

The McColl’s store, in West Street, Portchester, is set to shut on Saturday, July 18, company bosses have announced.

The post office branch, that runs seven days a week from inside McColls, will also close if no new retailer can be found to take it on, prompting concern from councillors.

Announcing the news, a spokesman for McColl’s said: ‘Having explored all options, regretfully we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at the McColl’s store on West Street in Portchester. The store’s last day of trading will be Friday, July 17, 2020.

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‘We are saddened to no longer be operating the store and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.’

Councillor Roger Price, ward member for Portchester East at Fareham Borough Council, said it was ‘crucial’ to retain a post office within the precinct.

'I’m sorry to see it close but the crucial part is that post office,’ said Cllr Price. ‘I would like to see that moved to another part of the precinct.

‘It’s essential because of all of the people that go there – it serves all the people who live just south of the precinct and north of the A27.

‘Maybe the Hub could relinquish part of their building, and it would then give them an income.

‘I’m extremely surprised the McColl’s is closing – I would be very surprised if it was to do with a lack of trade.’

A Post Office spokeswoman said the business was looking for a retailer to take on a branch in their premises.

She said: ‘The operator for Portchester Post Office has recently resigned with effect from mid-July 2020. The shop where the Post Office is based is also closing.

‘We understand how important a Post Office is to a community and we are committed to providing a Post Office in the area. We are looking at ways to provide Post Office services.’

The announcement comes less than six months after the Co-Op announced it would close its store in West Street by February over concerns about its viability.

The building which contains the Co-op, along with a pet shop, betting shop, and a funeral directors, was put up for sale for £2m.

McColl’s operates more than 1,500 newsagents and convenience stores across the UK, with more than a third containing a post office branch.