Allders closure would have 'catastrophic' effect on Croydon, says MP
THE loss of Allders would have a catastrophic effect on Croydon, Labour MP Malcolm Wicks has said.
Commenting after the store went into administration, Mr Wicks, MP for Croydon North, said: "This is devastating news, but sadly not altogether a surprise – it is a slow motion car crash that has been happening for some time."
He laid part of the blame for Allders' plight on Government economic policies which "are plunging the economy, including the Croydon economy, into deeper and deeper recession".
He added: "Local institutions, such as Croydon Council, and the Whitgift Foundation, must also ask themselves serious questions: their lackadaisical approach to business matters, their lack of urgency, is entirely the wrong approach."
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The Foundation is the freeholder of the Whitgift Centre.
Mr Wicks said: "Unless a buyer can be found for Allders – or buyers for different parts of the business – Allders' demise will leave a series of huge holes in Croydon: a catastrophic hole in jobs, a dismal hole in the physical make-up of the town and a huge hole in local morale, as the signs go up saying that Croydon is no longer open for business."
His view were echoed by councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council's Labour opposition, who urged the people of Croydon to get behind the store by turning up at the weekend to shop.
He said he feared there was only a two or three-week gap in which to save the store from closure by obtaining new investment.