Iconic Oxfordshire department store to downsize

A family-run department store in Oxfordshire is being forced to downsize due to financial difficulties.

Pettis of Wallingford, which dates back to 1856, will be redeveloped into a ground floor shop while nine flats are built on its upper floor.

The store’s Womenswear department, which includes lingerie collections from Triumph, Lepel and Wonderbra, are expected to be moved to other shops in Wallingford while the refurbishment takes place.

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Stock will be moved back to the new Pettits when the store reopens in December 2015.

Director Richard Rowse said that it was with “deep regret” that Pettits is to downsize and some job losses were inevitable.

“Over the last few years and despite huge efforts of staff, trading has become increasingly difficult. The economic environment, changing retail patterns and the lack of a major retailer opposite our store have all taken their toll and Pettits has change from a once profitable business to a loss-making one. Change is therefore inevitable and necessary,” he added.

“Inevitably and sadly there will be some job losses due to the downsizing.”

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