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No department stores interested in taking over empty Fenwick site, says council officer

An unused shop in the heart of Windsor town centre looks set to remain empty after a council officer confirmed no major department stores are interested in moving in.

Fenwick closed down in August after 37 years of trading in the shopping centre formerly known as King Edward Court.

Members of the Windsor Town Forum heard on Wednesday that the managers of the centre, now known as Windsor Yards, had been unsuccessful in persuading any department stores in the UK or Europe to take over the whole shop.

Rob Large, property service lead for the Royal Borough, told the meeting: “Their (Aberdeen Standard Investments) professional agents have approached every department store, every large store type model that might be in those size units, nationwide and across Europe and nobody is interested in coming there, so that’s the bad news.

“The good news is that, having done that exercise, they have been talking to retailers who might take half of the store because you still have quite a big store if you divide it in half.”

Mr Large added that the centre was involved in discussions with ‘three or four’ retailers in the fashion range about taking over part of the empty shop.

Councillors also discussed the centre’s decision to change its name in a bid to refresh its image.

Dedworth resident Lars Swann said: “The name (Windsor Yards) just didn’t inspire me to consider Windsor as a historic town.

“The whole point of Windsor is conservation and conserving what you already have and it just looked a bit Steptoe and Son for me.”

Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) urged residents and shoppers to get behind the centre and keep supporting the town’s retail industry.

He said: “I think we are special in Windsor and we can offer a retail experience.

“We’ve got to get behind this and we’ve got to get some flagships in here to keep it all going.

“The last thing we want to be doing is talking about the collapse of the high street.”

Wednesday’s meeting took place at Windsor Guildhall.

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