Dorchester's Millets store set for closure

CLOSING DOWN:  Millets in South Street, Dorchester

CLOSING DOWN: Millets in South Street, Dorchester

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Trainee Reporter

AN OUTDOOR clothing store in Dorchester will shut its doors for the final time today.

Millets, which has been based in South Street for a number of years, will shut at the end of trading today Customers have been able to take advantage of discounted items over the last few weeks due to a closing down sale.

Staff members are being transferred to Blacks, based a few doors down.

Blacks and Millets both fall under Blacks Outdoor Retail, the largest outdoor retailer in the UK, now owned by the JD Group. In 2012, the JD Group acquired the trade and assets of Blacks Leisure Group PLC when it went into administration.

The Dorchester branch of Millets was expected to close in March last year when other branches were axed, but the county town store stayed open after a new rent was negotiated.

In his 2013 statement, Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of the JD Group said the group’s outdoor stores had a ‘mixed period’. Mr Cowgill said the autumn and winter season that year would be a key time for Blacks and Millets.

An employee at the Dorchester branch of Millets, who wished to remain anonymous, said staff found out about the decision to close the shop nearly a month ago.

The employee said: “We didn’t know anything about it and we just came into work and saw the sign outside it saying To Let.”

The employee understands the store could be replaced by a new coffee shop.

Reacting to the store’s closure, Dorchester BID project director Phil Gordon said it was always sad to see a business close.

He remained optimistic however about the high street’s future.

Mr Gordon said: “Dorchester is doing extremely well in terms of bringing new business to town and I’m very confident that the shop won’t remain empty for long. It’s in a prime location on South Street.

“For every one that’s closing, another one is opening.”

Mr Gordon highlighted Neal’s Yard Remedies as an example of a new business, which has recently set up shop at the Tudor Arcade.

Lee Bagnall, managing director at Millets Outdoor Stores, said: "We are really sorry to say that after trying to re-negotiate the terms of our lease the landlord has let the store at an increased premium to another party, it was not financially viable to continue with an increased rent.

"We have another group store in Dorchester which is traded under the Blacks Fascia, this store will continue to stock a lot of similar lines to the Millets stores.

"We would like to thank the customers of Dorchester for their valuable custom and hopefully if a suitable site can be found we will open again in the future."

Comments (12)

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7:28am Wed 7 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

Time for the President of the Chamber of Commerce to declare "Dorchester is still open for business".
Time for the President of the Chamber of Commerce to declare "Dorchester is still open for business". arlbergbahn
  • Score: 6

8:46am Wed 7 May 14

oldbrock says...

yet another victim of our "dog eat dog" "money is GOD" modern culture, all short - termism. Another outlet for zero hours contracts? run by multinational that pays little or no tax here? its ok employing staff but if they only do 4hours each at minimum pay they are hardly going to be putting much back into the economy
yet another victim of our "dog eat dog" "money is GOD" modern culture, all short - termism. Another outlet for zero hours contracts? run by multinational that pays little or no tax here? its ok employing staff but if they only do 4hours each at minimum pay they are hardly going to be putting much back into the economy oldbrock
  • Score: -3

10:37am Wed 7 May 14

Lanedor says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Time for the President of the Chamber of Commerce to declare "Dorchester is still open for business".
But ................... from what I have heard unlike Weymouth there is a business lined up and due to take over the store as soon as the refit is completed!
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Time for the President of the Chamber of Commerce to declare "Dorchester is still open for business".[/p][/quote]But ................... from what I have heard unlike Weymouth there is a business lined up and due to take over the store as soon as the refit is completed! Lanedor
  • Score: 2

12:45pm Wed 7 May 14

codlips says...

Too down market for "up and coming" fabulous Dorchester....(Tongu
e firmly in cheek)
Too down market for "up and coming" fabulous Dorchester....(Tongu e firmly in cheek) codlips
  • Score: -1

1:46pm Wed 7 May 14

JamesYoung says...

Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off.
I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances.
Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off. I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances. JamesYoung
  • Score: 1

3:50pm Wed 7 May 14

Goldman says...

Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.
Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements. Goldman
  • Score: 6

7:27pm Wed 7 May 14

fairbuttfirm says...

Goldman wrote:
Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.
Well said Goldman! The positive spirit of most locals and businesses in town is part of what attracts new businesses to Dorchester. Sadly, a lot who ever bother to comment on this site are clearly not very happy, positive people. Perhaps they have their own problems and get some twisted pleasure from the hobby of trying to drag others down or find fault? I'm expecting the only response to this comment to come from those who think I've just insulted them! I dont intend to insult, I just with some of their energy could be directed in a more positive and constructive direction.
[quote][p][bold]Goldman[/bold] wrote: Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.[/p][/quote]Well said Goldman! The positive spirit of most locals and businesses in town is part of what attracts new businesses to Dorchester. Sadly, a lot who ever bother to comment on this site are clearly not very happy, positive people. Perhaps they have their own problems and get some twisted pleasure from the hobby of trying to drag others down or find fault? I'm expecting the only response to this comment to come from those who think I've just insulted them! I dont intend to insult, I just with some of their energy could be directed in a more positive and constructive direction. fairbuttfirm
  • Score: 5

7:38pm Wed 7 May 14

jmc1 says...

Goldman wrote:
Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.
Don't think they will need all the staff at Blacks,seems to be empty most of the time,Trespass is a couple of doors up and slightly cheaper
[quote][p][bold]Goldman[/bold] wrote: Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.[/p][/quote]Don't think they will need all the staff at Blacks,seems to be empty most of the time,Trespass is a couple of doors up and slightly cheaper jmc1
  • Score: 1

8:11pm Wed 7 May 14

ksmain says...

JamesYoung wrote:
Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off.
I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances.
I think to that the development at Brewery Square could be pulling the businesses to that side of town away from the top end of South Street. I have often wondered whether the Brewery Square development could be a little too big for what is still a small market town, and meanwhile other business becomes unsustainable. Money is still tight in the current recessed market, even in a reasonably affluent area. Time will tell.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off. I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances.[/p][/quote]I think to that the development at Brewery Square could be pulling the businesses to that side of town away from the top end of South Street. I have often wondered whether the Brewery Square development could be a little too big for what is still a small market town, and meanwhile other business becomes unsustainable. Money is still tight in the current recessed market, even in a reasonably affluent area. Time will tell. ksmain
  • Score: -1

10:13pm Wed 7 May 14

JamesYoung says...

ksmain wrote:
JamesYoung wrote: Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off. I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances.
I think to that the development at Brewery Square could be pulling the businesses to that side of town away from the top end of South Street. I have often wondered whether the Brewery Square development could be a little too big for what is still a small market town, and meanwhile other business becomes unsustainable. Money is still tight in the current recessed market, even in a reasonably affluent area. Time will tell.
I'd agree. I think Brewery Square has been excellent for the town as a whole but clearly a challenge to the High Street, since many of the "big names" (Joules, for example) have set up shop there. It's a shame that after 30 years of trying, the council couldn't deliver something equally impressive in Charles St.
[quote][p][bold]ksmain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: Sadly i think we will be seeing a lot more of this. Retail is moving online, and people's incomes are still suffering, regardless of what the government says (to claim that this year incomes rose more than inflation is meaningless, when inflation is not a realistic representation of what most families are experiencing). With the economy supposedly picking up, the pressure is on the BoE to increase interest rates and if they rise from 0.5% to 3% by 2016, as predicted by the BoE, then your average family with a £180k mortgage is going to be around £270 a month worse off. I don't know about you, but i cannot see a bright future for the High Street in these circumstances.[/p][/quote]I think to that the development at Brewery Square could be pulling the businesses to that side of town away from the top end of South Street. I have often wondered whether the Brewery Square development could be a little too big for what is still a small market town, and meanwhile other business becomes unsustainable. Money is still tight in the current recessed market, even in a reasonably affluent area. Time will tell.[/p][/quote]I'd agree. I think Brewery Square has been excellent for the town as a whole but clearly a challenge to the High Street, since many of the "big names" (Joules, for example) have set up shop there. It's a shame that after 30 years of trying, the council couldn't deliver something equally impressive in Charles St. JamesYoung
  • Score: -1

10:21pm Wed 7 May 14

JamesYoung says...

fairbuttfirm wrote:
Goldman wrote: Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.
Well said Goldman! The positive spirit of most locals and businesses in town is part of what attracts new businesses to Dorchester. Sadly, a lot who ever bother to comment on this site are clearly not very happy, positive people. Perhaps they have their own problems and get some twisted pleasure from the hobby of trying to drag others down or find fault? I'm expecting the only response to this comment to come from those who think I've just insulted them! I dont intend to insult, I just with some of their energy could be directed in a more positive and constructive direction.
I think it is Goldman that is missing the point, actually. Blacks does own Millets, but the pertinent point is that it bought Millets - from administration. I don't see why that contradicts my statement that high street retail is in long term decline.
It is, of course, no surprise that Blacks wants to consolidate into one premises, but clearly, one shop does not need the same number of staff as two. It may be that no individuals will lose their jobs, but i suspect you will find that the total headcount hasn't changed much, probably as a result of people leaving and not being replaced.
If people do respond and "think you've insulted them" then it is probably because you have. Just because you have a successful business does not mean that all is well on the high street. Pointing this out does not make me somebody who derives "twisted pleasure"; I am simply stating what i believe to be true. I am, however, struggling to remain positive in a country where we have a government in blatant denial about everything from house prices, to inflation, to government debt and i think it is very constructive to warn people of what may be coming.
[quote][p][bold]fairbuttfirm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Goldman[/bold] wrote: Has anybody read this piece of news, Blacks own Millets and its possible they don't need 2 shops in a market town. All staff transferred to the Blacks store so no job losses. The shop as I understand already has a new lease set up for a new company ready to go in creating more jobs in the town plus Salt Rock are opening a new store in town soon. WILL DOOM AND GLOOM PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING ON ANY NEWS IN FUTURE. Dorchester is alive and kicking business wise. How do I know this, well I own a success business in Dorchester and located here as Weymouth needs massive improvements.[/p][/quote]Well said Goldman! The positive spirit of most locals and businesses in town is part of what attracts new businesses to Dorchester. Sadly, a lot who ever bother to comment on this site are clearly not very happy, positive people. Perhaps they have their own problems and get some twisted pleasure from the hobby of trying to drag others down or find fault? I'm expecting the only response to this comment to come from those who think I've just insulted them! I dont intend to insult, I just with some of their energy could be directed in a more positive and constructive direction.[/p][/quote]I think it is Goldman that is missing the point, actually. Blacks does own Millets, but the pertinent point is that it bought Millets - from administration. I don't see why that contradicts my statement that high street retail is in long term decline. It is, of course, no surprise that Blacks wants to consolidate into one premises, but clearly, one shop does not need the same number of staff as two. It may be that no individuals will lose their jobs, but i suspect you will find that the total headcount hasn't changed much, probably as a result of people leaving and not being replaced. If people do respond and "think you've insulted them" then it is probably because you have. Just because you have a successful business does not mean that all is well on the high street. Pointing this out does not make me somebody who derives "twisted pleasure"; I am simply stating what i believe to be true. I am, however, struggling to remain positive in a country where we have a government in blatant denial about everything from house prices, to inflation, to government debt and i think it is very constructive to warn people of what may be coming. JamesYoung
  • Score: -1

5:52pm Thu 8 May 14

Sidney Hall says...

They should've kept Millets and closed Blacks. Took the kids for hiking boots recently into Dorchester. Blacks only sell adult shoes. Trespass got the business after visiting all 3.


But at least we'll have another coffee and sticky bun shop. Yay.
They should've kept Millets and closed Blacks. Took the kids for hiking boots recently into Dorchester. Blacks only sell adult shoes. Trespass got the business after visiting all 3. But at least we'll have another coffee and sticky bun shop. Yay. Sidney Hall
  • Score: 1

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