Shaws the Drapers staff warned of ‘changes to business’ amidst flash sale of stock in Bristol

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Shoppers have voiced concerns about the future of the popular chain of shops

Workers at a popular chain of drapers with stores in Bristol have been told to expect ‘some changes to the business in the new year’ amidst a clear-out of stock ahead of Christmas.

Last week, Bristol World reported that Shaws branches in Fishponds, Kingswood and Yate were selling stock of half price, with shoppers clearing the shelves. On Friday, the store in Kingswood was open, but near empty of items.

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The sales have led to concerns over the future of the shops. Sympathy has also been voiced for the staff, who last Monday said they had not been told about future plans for the shops.

Shaws has yet to respond to Bristol World’s enquiries on the matter. But a report by the BBC published on Saturday has revealed that a letter has been sent to staff saying that current trading conditions are “very challenging” and that “we are likely to need to make some changes to the business in the new year”.

It added that no stock will be ordered to the warehouse before changes are agreed - and there is no mention of store closures or job losses.

Shaws in Kingswood - many shoppers were at the store last week to take advantage of the flash saleShaws in Kingswood - many shoppers were at the store last week to take advantage of the flash sale
Shaws in Kingswood - many shoppers were at the store last week to take advantage of the flash sale | Bristol World

The company was formed in Cardiff in 1912. It is believed to employ more than 150 staff across 28 stories, which include 15 in Wales and 13 in the South West of England and the West Midlands.

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The uncertainty at the chain has left people concerned not just for the shop’s future, but also the future of the High Street. Sandra Radfield, 67, has been shopping at the store for 46 years. She said: “At this time of year, it’s the last thing you want to see. It’s very sad.”

While on social media, Andy Bwye said: “Another nail in the coffin of the Kingswood high street.”

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