A fashion store in the North East will shut its doors permanently after it was announced that the shop had become 'surplus to requirements'.

The Joules shop inside the Metrocentre in Gateshead is among 19 that will close despite Next stepping in to pull the brand out of administration.

Rumours about the future of Joules in the shopping centre circulated in 2020 - but it has remained open, even during parts of the Covid-19 pandemic when it was possible to do so. 

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Retail giant Next said it plans to continue to run around 100 of Joules’ 124 stores and will transfer over around 1,450 members of shop and head office staff.

The deal will see Next own a 74% stake in the business, with Joules' founder Tom Joule owning the remaining 26% share.

But the administration resulted in 320 redundancies, while a further 79 employees who had resigned and were working their notice were forced to immediately leave.

Joules drafted in administrators from Interpath Advisory last month after failing to secure emergency funding following a surge in costs and slowdown in demand.

The insolvency specialists will close 19 of Joules’ stores on Thursday, including the Gateshead branch, after they were not bought as part of the deal.

Tom Joule said: "After three years away from the operational side, I’m truly looking forward to inspiring teams with clear direction to excite and recapture the imagination of the customer again.

"I’m so pleased that we have been able to strike a deal that protects the future of the company for all its loyal customers, its employees and also for the town of Market Harborough, which have been so central to Joules’ success."

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