A Sunderland businessman is shutting up shop after three generations of his family trading in the city.
Adam Clarke claims the economic climate and lack of resources being spent in the city centre is forcing him to close his men’s clothing shop Arc.
He said people are also shopping out of town and a lot on the internet.
The 47-year-old said it is a devastating blow for him, his family who have traded in the city for 90 years, and staff, but the Blandford Street store is barely breaking even.
Adam’s grandfather, Joseph Clarke, first opened a shop in High Street West in around 1927 and then opened a further shop in Crowtree Road.
Adam’s father, Harris Clarke, first opened a shop in Crowtree Road called Clarkes in 1957 selling boiler suits to the dock workers.
When I told my dad he was very upset as wellAdam Clarke
The Esquire shop was one of the first fashion shops to open in Sunderland in 1967 on Crowtree Road and then he opened Jeremy Adam on Walworth Way in 1971 and that ran until the 80s when he changed the name to Pebbles which was moved to Holmside. He also had a shop in South Shields and Darlington in the 70s and 80s.
Harris opened the Blandford Street shop in around 1983 and called it The Trading Post. Adam took it over in 1997 and changed the name to ARC and he have been trading there for 20 years. Adam also opened a shop in South Shields in 2005 called ARC selling mens fashion, but that has now since closed.
At just 14-years-old, Adam joined his dad’s store, Trading Post, in Blandford Street, which opened 35 years ago, before taking it over and renaming it Arc.
He said: “It is really upsetting to think that this is the last of our shops closing in the city after almost 100 years.
“When I told my dad he was very upset as well.”
Adam said he feels terrible that his three members of staff will now be out of work and his loyal customers are very upset too.
But, he said: “The lease is up for renewal and there is just no point renewing it because the shop is not profitable, we are just standing still.”
The businessman is angry because he believes the street has been allowed to become run down and unattractive while money is poured into other areas.
He said: “Lots of my fellow traders here feel the same way. The street has been left to be so grotty. It shouldn’t be like this, we are two seconds from The Bridges and it is one of the busiest streets in the town.
“Other businesses in the street have already closed.”