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Historic department store Bodgers set for closure

Ilford department store Bodgers has confirmed it is set to shut down at the end of February 2018.

The shop, which is owned by The Morleys Stores Group, has been operating for 125 years.

Managing director David Hordle blamed the closure on increasing losses at the store, and thanked his staff for their commitment to the business: “They have shown an admirable commitment in trying to reverse the decline. But unfortunately the losses we were incurring were not sustainable in the long term.”

He added that a tumultuous retail environment, and competition from the nearby Westfield Stratford shopping centre had proved challenging for the business.

“We have done our best to serve the community in Ilford since taking over Bodgers in 1959,” he said. “Unfortunately, the challenging trading environment showed no sign of improving and customers continued to drift away, particularly to Westfield in Stratford, and that made it impossible for us to find a successful trading format.”

The Morleys Stores Group are hoping to relocate the 70 staff working at Bodgers to other stores in its portfolio, which consists of eight locations across London and the South East.

Bodgers first opened in 1890, when it was bought by John Bodger and his wife. Morleys Stores Group took over the running of the business in 1959.

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