Barking and Dagenham fashion shops could shut before April

Two Bonmarche shops have been earmarked for closure in Barking and Dagenham.

The fashion stores in East Street, Barking, and Heathway, Dagenham, face the axe under a move to shut 165 shops with the loss of more than 1,300 staff by the end of March.

The announcment came after the budget fashion chain was taken over by private equity firm Sun European Partners last month.

Bonmarche said today that 230 stores would remain open, adding that the closure plans could be revised following talks with its stakeholders.

A spokesman said: “The demise of the local high street, the decline in customer spend in the current economic climate, along with rising costs and has made trading very difficult.

“To ensure the company can be placed on sound economic footing, it is anticipated that approximately 165 stores will close.

“Both the Barking and Dagenham stores are currently earmarked for closure. However, such stores are being constantly reviewed and careful consideration given.

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“We are in discussions with landlords and councils to reduce costs and improve town amenities. We are looking at the convenience of the customers and the distance they will have to travel to an open store.”