A RETAIL giant has reassured shoppers that it will not be closing its doors after the loss of numerous neighbouring outlets.

Bosses behind New Look in Barrow has insisted that there are no plans to shut the store despite the growing number of closures in Portland Walk.

Goldsmiths, Body Shop, WHSmith and Steals were the latest retailers to shut up shop in the now near-empty Portland Walk shopping area.

Debenhams, Topshop, River Island, Pandora and Thorntons have already vacated the section of town in recent years, prompting shoppers to question the future of popular retail outlet, New Look.

READ MORE: Portland Walk deemed 'just sad' after Steals announces closure

However, a spokesman for the global fashion chain, which sells womenswear, menswear, and clothing for teens, revealed there were no plans to close the Barrow shop.

There are currently four New Look shops in Cumbria including: Carlisle, Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow.

During the 2020/21 period, New Look had an average of 10,912 employees per month, across its retail outlets, more than 8,000 of which worked in the company's retail operations.

Colin Garnett, Barrow BID manager, previously said town centre shopping has 'changed' - and high business rates are deterring retailers from moving in.

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He said: "One of the main issues of the Portland Walk retail units is their rateable value, which is based on past footfall and the historic value of the properties.

"As a BID we are enthused that the Government are seeking to tackle business rates and went some way to levelling the playing field with online businesses.

"The problem is that where their business rates reduction, outlined in the last budget (October 2021), might have been good for all bricks and mortar businesses, it didn’t address the fact that properties within the retail core of towns are still paying higher business rates than properties on the outskirts or outside of town centres.

"Until a full re-evaluation of properties is undertaken retail core properties aren’t an affordable option to independent shops and businesses.

"Town centre shopping has changed and towns are having to reinvent themselves with a mix of retail, leisure, hospitality, offices and residential."