Lakeland: Kitchenware chain to shut four stores across UK

image captionLakeland is the main tenant in the Ancient House in Ipswich, which dates from the 15th Century

Kitchenware chain Lakeland is to close four branches with the loss of 40 jobs.

The Ipswich store will close in early January, followed by branches in Cardiff and Epsom, Surrey, in February, and Perth in May.

Lakeland was founded in 1964 in Windermere, Cumbria, and has almost 70 shops across the UK.

Confirming the closures "with regret", the company said it was "very proud of our store teams" and would be supporting them.

"The experience our customers receive in our retail stores remains integral to our ethos to deliver exceptional customer service and wherever there are opportunities to trade profitably, we will seek to agree, renew and extend leases with landlords," it said in a statement.

On average, shopper numbers across the UK were a quarter below 2019 levels, according to market research firm Springboard.

Lakeland's Ipswich store is in the landmark Ancient House in the Buttermarket, a 15th Century building owned by Ipswich Borough Council.

"We're disappointed to be losing a good tenant, but this is a decision made by Lakeland as part of a national review of stores due to market conditions," the council said in a statement.

"We are hopeful of securing a new tenant for the Ancient House in 2021."

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