A SHEFFIELD city centre shopping precinct which was once the beating heart of the city’s retail scene - is reeling today after Argos announced it will shut up shop on The Moor in January.
It’s yet another nail in the coffin for the shopping area which is teetering on the edge of oblivion after the High Street chain announced it is to close for good on January 20.
From then it will stand empty, along with eight other retail units on the once famous shopping strip.
A spokesman for the business said: “Argos will be closing its Sheffield Moor store on 20 January 2012.
“The business has decided the four other Sheffield-based stores sufficiently service customers in the area, making a fifth surplus to requirements.
“The four other Sheffield stores are located in Angel Street, Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Kilner Way Retail Park and Crystal Peaks Retail Park.
“Argos is exploring alternative working opportunities for the affected Sheffield Moor employees where possible.”
Ranald Phillips, director of Ashcroft, the asset and development manager appointed to oversee the development on The Moor, accepted the closure was yet another blow.
But he remains upbeat about the area’s future.
He said: “This is indicative of the current challenging retail climate that is having an effect in all our towns and cities and a further indictment on the way The Moor has been allowed to deteriorate over the last decade.
“It means the plans we have to radically upgrade The Moor’s environment are even more crucial to adding to the retail offer in Sheffield.”
The evidence of the Moor’s decline is there for all to see.
A total of eight large retail units stand empty - another two are being used as temporary Christmas shops - and there’s a huge hole where a row of shops once stood.
That is where the new market will stand - but one year after it was dug up shoppers and traders are beginning to question whether the hole will ever become a building.
The closure cancer has also crept along Cambridge Street and Charles Street with more retail units standing empty - their windows being used as exhibition space.
Hat, scarf and gloves seller William Glover is one of the Moor’s few remaining independent traders.
Standing on his stall amongst retail chains like Greggs and BetFred he looks a worried man.
William, 33, from Walkley, remembers the days not so long ago when Christmas shoppers jostled shoulder to shoulder along the Moor.
But now he says they have all but disappeared.
He said: “Trade is terrible. Footfall is non existent and at an all time low. And this is Christams.
“There are empty shops everywhere.
“Part of the problem is parking. People go to Meadowhall and park for free.
”We traders would happily pay a pound or two more on our rents if free parking was introduced.”