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York initiatives support businesses following further store closures

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, The Shambles,

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Company announced store closures on Friday, one of a dozen store closures in York. However, both Indie York and York BID initiates have been created to help support local businesses. 

The EWM company, who also own Jaegar, with stores located on Shambles and in St Helens Square face uncertainty, as the EMW chief executive Steven Simpson gave a statement. He said: “Stores will continue trading” but warned that there will “inevitability be significant cuts and closures.”  

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, The Shambles,
Edinburgh Woollen Mill, The Shambles, image accredited to Visit York.

MP Rachael Maskell, said: “York has over 30,000 people working in the tourism, leisure and retail sectors that have all been particularly badly affected by this crisis. 

Although there are some promising signs, many businesses in the constituency are facing a very difficult and uncertain winter. Twenty two per cent of York’s workforce are currently on furlough and these jobs are now hanging in the balance.” 

The York economy relies on tourism to prosper. Rachael adds, approximately one-in-four jobs are within hospitality and tourism sectors, placing them in a vulnerable position as local tiers of lockdown are announced. 

Efforts to improve the economy within York have taken place throughout the summer with York BID volunteers located around the city centre to assist visitors and to make them feel safe within the city. Despite this event coming to an end in September, it hopes to make a return around the festive season to encourage visitors safely into the city. 

In addition, Local group Indie York has been organising pop-up shops around the city to encourage residents to visit independent shops and businesses.  

The latest opening is a cake and crafts shop at the previous Minister Van Hire premises on Micklegate. The event hopes to run until January, supporting local artists and traders. 

Coney Street, image accredited to YorkMix.

Other York city centre stores which have closed since the lockdown are: 

  • Accessorize 
  • Brigantes pub 
  • Boots (Coppergate) 
  • Cappuccino’s 
  • Knit and Stitch shop 
  • Patisserie Valerie 
  • Random Encounter Pop Culture Café 
  • Subway (two branches) 
  • TM Lewin 
  • True Story café 
  • Warehouse 

As local businesses await the Government announcement, York Bid and Indie York initiatives remain supportive to independent businesses within the city.