CHADDS, Hereford's independent department store, has announced today (March 3) that it is to close in June with the loss of 128 jobs.

The store will close just short of its 80th year of trading and managing director Kirsty Chadd said the decision was taken because of changing trends in retail across the country.

She said these had made for an uncertain future for traditional department stores.

"This is a very sad day for our staff, but it is inevitable that future success for a store of our size can only be achieved through trading from modern, efficient buildings," she said.

She said the company would not be able to sustain successful trading from its Commercial Street base.

She added that an offer to buy the property from the West Midlands-based property developer Hawkstone Properties had been accepted.

Every assistance possible would be given to staff to help them find alternative employment, she said.

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*For the full story see the Hereford Times on Thursday.