Leather store is to close in the New Year

A town centre retailer has announced its closure.

Lakeland Leather in Morpeth’s Sanderson Arcade will shut up shop in January, with the loss of five jobs.

The business was established by Richard Standring in Ambleside in the 1960s and became the UK’s largest specialist retailer of fine leather goods, with 18 stores.

However, it was placed into administration in June and now the company has confirmed that it cannot save its Morpeth shop.

Mr Standring said: “It’s devastating. Our Morpeth team has been working really hard to try to help us save the store, but we’ve failed to agree lease terms with the landlord that would allow us to trade profitably. Our store is located in Sanderson Arcade, but we’ve always struggled to generate footfall to this shop.

“The landlord supported us with a rent reduction for two years, but we needed an even better rent deal to make the unit viable and, unfortunately, the landlord tried to help us, but wasn’t able to support us on this occasion.”

Landlord Dransfield Properties spokeswoman Amanda Holmes said: “We are really disappointed that the Lakeland store in Morpeth is closing, along with a further 12 of the company’s 18 retail stores.

“We have, however, received no formal offer of a revised rental agreement since the company went into administration when we understood the intention was to close the store.

“We have worked closely with the Lakeland staff at the centre, as well as the company’s head office team, and given considerable management time and external consultant’s advice to help the business, particularly over the last two years.

“We will be marketing the unit in the New Year and will, of course, assist in any way that we can in passing on the details of staff for any future positions.”

The store will close on January 4 and a clearance sale is under way. Online trading will continue.