The Original Factory Shop in Staple Hill to close over redevelopment plans

A ‘sad loss’ that will have a ‘knock-on effect’, says councillor

The closure of a well-used store selling discounted clothing and furniture in Staple Hill is going to have a ‘terrible knock-on effect’ on the community as it grapples with the cost of living crisis, a councillor has warned.

The Original Factory Shop opened on Broad Street just under a year ago and has proved a lifeline for some ever since, selling clothes, bedding and toiletries at affordable prices.

But the landlord is now looking to redevelop the site, meaning that the retail chain has had to exit its lease.

A spokesperson for the Original Factory Shop confirmed the branch would close on Friday (July 15), adding: “We are seeking to redeploy colleagues that have been affected wherever possible. Our next nearest branch is in Nailsea.”

But for many residents, particularly those who are elderly, that’s too far, says South Gloucestershire Councillor and local resident Michael Bell.

The Old Factory Shop on Staple Hill will close on Friday (July 15).

He told BristolWorld: “It’s a very sad loss. Even though it’s just a shop, it’s going to have a terrible knock-on effect for the community here.

“The shop was within walking distance for people living in Staple Hill and sold clothes and bedding at reasonable prices, I use it myself. You always see people in there.

“You’ll have to go elsewhere for those things now to places like Kingwood and Yate, and for many that requires bus travel, which is expensive.

“Active travel like walking and cycling is something that’s being encouraged, but when shops close and you have to drive or get a bus somewhere that’s further away, it goes against the grain.”

The store was notable not just for the affordable items it sold with a cost of living crisis underway, but also for the rapport staff had with customers and the sense of community that brought, said Coun Bell.

He said: “The shop was open seven days a week and the staff were all friendly, the kind you’d be on first name terms with.

“Little things like that can mean a lot to people, but everything is moving online.

“Some people, myself included, don’t want to live in a world of text messages and Facebook.

“We want to get out and about and see faces, it’s the reason I become a councillor. It’s all just such a shame.”

Coun Bell added he’d heard rumours that the store was going to be turned into a gym, but this hasn’t been officially confirmed.