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Newcastle store shuts as rents rattle Frontier

Trainer specialist Frontier is closing its Newcastle upon Tyne store and has put one of its other shops under review following rent increases.

The five-store footwear independent has shops in Hampstead and Soho in London, as well as in Chester and Llandudno, north Wales. It also has a significant online business.

Owner Mark Blackburn founded the chain more than eight years ago. He told Drapers that the Newcastle store in Grey Street would close this week.

"City centre rents have shot up in the past six months," he said. "That has pushed up rental levels in surrounding streets that have traditionally been the independents' heartland."

He added: "In our case it was a choice of having to pay six months' rent as a deposit, pay a higher rent and sign a new long lease, or get out. Trading is not easy for anyone at the moment, but our London stores are holding up extremely well, as is the online business."

He said one other store was under review and that any new openings or developments for the business would focus on London or online opportunities.

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