THE Hitchin branch of discount clothing store Peacocks has closed down, despite only opening just before Christmas.

The store is one of 244 in the country which will be closing down immediately. The Hitchin branch shut down yesterday (Wednesday), with 15 redundancies made.

The other 388 stores, which includes the Letchworth GC branch, will remain open.

The shop, which occupies half of the former Woolworths site on the High Street, has only been open since November last year.

Town centre manager Keith Hoskins said the news was disappointing, and that town centre management would now be offering to working with landlords, agents and KPMG to see if it could help in the process.

“It’s obviously disappointing in the first place,” he told The Comet.

“I suppose it is not a huge surprise, because it’s only been open 10 or 11 weeks and has not had the chance to build up a trading pattern. It’s probably cheaper for them to close a store which has only been open for 10 weeks.

“It’s a shame for staff would have taken up jobs there, they won’t get anything other than statutory pay.

“If we were looking for a silver lining, I would say at least it’s really smart now. Before, when it was a Woolworths, it was pretty horrible.”