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Morleys to close Bodgers department store

Department store group Morleys is closing the Bodgers store in Ilford, east London, after more than 125 years of trading.

The department store’s 70 members of staff were told on 27 July and are now in consultation with the company.

It is thought the store will close in February and Morleys hopes to deploy a number of staff to one of its eight remaining stores in London and the South East.

Morleys managing director David Hordle said: “We have done everything we can over the last few years to improve profitability, including significantly reducing our cost base. Nevertheless, we have been unable to reverse the decline, resulting in losses which are not sustainable in the long term.”

The group’s executive chairman Bernard Dreesmann added: “This has been an exceptionally difficult decision as we have been serving the Ilford community since 1959, however, the continued challenging trading environment and a drift of customers in particular to Westfield in Stratford has made it impossible for us to find a successful trading format.

“Our foremost priority now is looking after our employees and our customers. I must emphasise that this plan is in no way any reflection on the commitment of the staff at Bodgers. Our focus will now be to ensure every member of staff is supported through the consultation so we can ensure we can help them find the best option for them.”

Bodgers first opened its doors on 14 June 1890 after the original premises was taken over by John Bodger and his wife. The business was bought by Morleys in 1959.

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