DOROTHY Perkins and a second town centre clothes retailer are to shut.
Designer Kidz, which trades in the Clock Towers Shopping Centre is the second shop to go.
The closure of Dorothy Perkins will be another blow to the town centre after Next shut and moved to Elliots Field Retail Park last year.
The clothes retailer has been trading in the town for several decades. Designer Kidz had a 12-month lease with the centre, which they will not be renewing
Robin Richter, managing director of Rugby First, said: “My understanding is the Dorothy Perkins landlord put the rent up. It’s a massive shame because it’s a good shop and it’s another vacant unit.
“I’ve not spoken to the landlord about this, but either they have put the rent up because they want to make more money, or their hands may be tied by their mortgage provider, who may have put their own charges up and forced the landlord to do the same.”
Tony Spencer, Clock Towers centre manager, said the closures were a sign of the times.
“Although it’s disappointing it’s a sign of the times. As a town we’ve done well to punch above our weight in the past 12 months – there are towns out there that are going through much worse than Rugby.
“We’ll continue to talk to land lords and find ways of doing business that can benefit both retailers and property owners. We’re always looking for ways to boost trade here and we’re working hard to fill the empty units we have got.”
There is still plenty of choice for clothes shoppers in Rugby town centre with several high street stores and independent boutiques remaining.
However, one Rugby shopper, who did not wish to be named, said: “I think it’s a real shame that Dorothy Perkins is closing in Rugby. It’s one of the few high street shops left in the town for women. The closure of Next earlier in the year and now Dorothy Perkins could put even more people off from shopping in Rugby.
“Soon there will be nothing left.”