IN yet another sign that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our high streets, Topshop in Darlington has been pictured completely stripped.

The former fashion store in the Cornmill Shopping Centre in the town centre has been pictured stripped bare of its fixtures and fittings.

The store, which traded up until the region entered Tier 4 restrictions, was seen towards the end of last week being closed down.

The Northern Echo: Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTPicture: SARAH CALDECOTT

It comes as the group which runs the brand, the Arcadia Group collapsed into insolvency in December as prolonged store closures during the pandemic were blamed.

At the time stores remained trading while the company remained on the search for a new buyer.

The Northern Echo: Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTPicture: SARAH CALDECOTT

But last week, stores across the region began to shut for good as stock was cleared at sites including Teesside Park and Sunderland Bridges.

On Monday, the group which also owns the big high street names including Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT was officially purchased by online retailer Asos for £265m.

But Arcadia's administrators confirmed the deal would not include any of its retail stores, meaning they will all remain shut for good.

The Northern Echo: Topshop at Sunderland Bridges Picture: CONTRIBUTORTopshop at Sunderland Bridges Picture: CONTRIBUTOR

In a statement after the deal was confirmed Nick Beighton, Asos chief executive, said: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for Asos and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”