Gainsborough residents react to closure of landmark Oldrids department store

Oldrids Department Store, Gainsborough.
Oldrids Department Store, Gainsborough.

Gainsborough residents have been reacting to news that town centre department store Oldrids is to close - and sharing their memories of the landmark store.

Oldrids & Downtown issued a statement on Friday, February 17 announcing the decision to not renew the lease on the shop in Market Place, Gainsborough.

Posting on the Standard’s Facebook page, Yvonne Green said: “That is a disaster for Gainsborough town centre. Such a huge store to be closed and end up going derelict and making town look run down. Hopefully it’ll be too big for yet another charity shop!”

Sally Johnston said: “I just hope that this doesn’t end up as another empty store, making Gainsborough town centre fall into further decline. I was visiting family this week and couldn’t believe the number of empty shops in the centre.

“I’d like to think that there is some master plan being formulated with the Chamber of Commerce, council and Planning Committee to rejuvenate not only outlying Gainsborough, i.e. not just Marshalls Yard, which is fabulous, but the town centre, including Market Street, Silver Street and Lord Street.

“I felt really quite sad at the very sorry state that the centre had become, especially since it was once such a bustling market town. You can’t argue that it is the likes of Retford, Lincoln or Scunthorpe taking away trade, as there are many market towns thriving elsewhere in similar locations and demographics.”

Simon Martin Peck posted: “If the council works hard enough with other potential interested companies, then they could keep it as a department store but with multiple companies in it rather just one company.”

Many residents commented on the store being too expensive.

Matthew Lloyd posted: “Overpriced in there anyway. The council should expect a decline when tax is so high and people are having to improve security around the town.”

A statement from the store said: “Oldrids & Downtown will continue to investigate all of the options available to them during the notice period in order to continue to trade from the stores, and to secure the jobs of their employees.

“Oldrids & Downtown are keen to reassure all of its Lincoln and Gainsborough customers that their statutory rights will not be affected in any way and all existing orders and any after sales service will be handled through the remaining stores should the two stores ultimately close.”

The lease of the Gainsborough premises runs out in January 2018.

Leader of Gainsborough Town Council, Councillor Matt Boles, described the news as “another hammer blow to the town centre”.