Disney to shut Hull Princes Quay store, but hopes for a fairytale ending
HULL'S retail industry has been dealt another blow after a leading retailer announced the closure of its store.
The Disney Store in Princes Quay shopping centre has been earmarked for closure in March.
The closure of one of the shopping centre's flagship stores means more than 12 jobs could be lost at the firm.
A spokesman for The Disney Store said: "Following the expiration of our lease and negotiations with our landlord, Disney Store can confirm we intend to close our Hull store in March 2013.
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"We will continue to trade as normal until that time. After that, we look forward to welcoming our guests online.
"Disney Store is focused on creating magical experiences for guests of all ages and offering exclusive Disney branded merchandise both in our stores and online."
Tony Wilkes, Princes Quay centre manager, said the future of the centre looks very positive despite the loss of The Disney Store.
He said: "We will be disappointed to see The Disney Store close next year. However, we understand this decision has been made by the retailer to support its long-term strategy.
"I have been very pleased to see how shopping in the city has evolved. At the same time Princes Quay has also developed and grown.
"Next year, we will be announcing a number of great national names coming to Princes Quay and have exciting plans in progress.
"I believe the overall improved retail offering that we're now seeing is beneficial to all shopping centres in the city as more people come to the area to spend."
The news of the closure and yet more job losses across the city has been met with disappointment but business leaders insist Hull's economy is still moving forward.
Hannah Crookes, external affairs manager at Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is with regret that we have heard the news that The Disney Store in Hull will be closing, meaning there will be further job losses in the city.
"Our sympathies go out to the people directly affected.
"Despite this, however, Hull city centre is remaining buoyant, with figures in November showing the percentage of vacant units is below the UK's national average.
"We are seeing new retailers coming into the city centre and we are confident we will see further stores come into the city, or other businesses, that could offer new opportunities and diversity for the centre of Hull."
Hull East MP Karl Turner said the loss of another international business is a further sign of a struggling economy.
He said: "As we have seen over the past few months, the failing economy is having a huge effect on businesses not only in Hull but across the country.
"The Disney Store offers luxury items and, unfortunately, it seems there just isn't the market for that at this moment.
Despite this, we will continue to do all we can to save jobs and keep businesses in Hull."