Joy as shop closure halted
SHOPPERS have expressed their delight after a popular discount store was saved from closure at the eleventh hour.
The Original Factory Shop (TOFS) looked set to shut at the end of the year after the company was served notice by the store's landlord.
Although the company had closed 32 of its 224 stores due to a challenging retail market, the Staple Hill branch had been performing well and the company wanted to continue to trade there.
Negotiations between TOFS and the landlord had been continuing while staff were kept up to date with progress.
Finally, it was announced on December 11 that the landlord had signed a new lease and the store would remain open.
More than 60 people welcomed the news on the Staple Hill and Mangotsfield Facebook page, with people describing the news as "fantastic" and "brilliant".
One woman posted: "Thrilled for all the staff and Staple Hill regulars!" Another said: "Glad to hear it, happy for all the staff that will keep their jobs in these tough times."
Staple Hill councillor Shirley Potts told Downend Voice: "This is really great news. Many elderly people expressed to me their concerns since other ways of shopping are not always available to them. Together with other members of the community they are delighted that job loss is not facing staff particularly at this time of year."
Cllr Ian Boulton said: "The welcome news that TOFS has been able to secure a deal to stay in Staple Hill is another indication that our High Street is a place that businesses want to trade in.
"Most importantly I’m delighted that the TOFS staff have some job security over the Christmas period which can be such a strain for many households, let alone those facing redundancy."