A department store that has been trading in the same east London suburb for 125 years is closing down, with the 70 staff members in consultation about their future.
Bodgers in Ilford, one of the oldest established department stores in the London Borough of Redbridge, is expected to shutter its doors for good in February.
Its owner, Morleys Stores Ltd, has blamed a loss of customers to nearby Westfield Stratford City shopping centre combined with a challenging trading environment as reasons for deciding to close the store down.
Morleys is also hoping to deploy Bodgers staff to one of its eight remaining department stores around London and the south east of England.
“We have done everything we can over the last few years to improve profitability, including significantly reducing our cost base,” Morleys managing director David Hordle said.
“Nevertheless, we have been unable to reverse the decline, resulting in losses which are not sustainable in the long term.”
Morleys executive chairman Bernard Dreesmann added: “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 in 1890 by John Bodgers and his wife, originally as a drapers at 113 High Road – now home to Poundland.
The business was bought by the Morleys in 1959.
Morleys also owns Elys in Wimbledon, Camp Hopson in Newbury, Selbys in Holloway, Roomes in Upminster, and Pearsons in Enfield. The other two Morleys stores are in Tooting and Brixton.