A POPULAR fashion retailer is to close its shutters for the last time in Southampton next month.

Topshop and Topman on Above Bar Street will be shutting down on February 29, but the retailer would not reveal why the Southampton branch would be closing.

Topshop did not give a reason for the closure of the store and would not reveal how many staff are employed there.

However, a city boss has claimed that the closure comes as the company plans to prevent collapse.

A spokesperson from the retailer explained that the company have "endeavoured" to find staff at the Southampton branch other jobs within the Arcadia Group - a multinational company that owns retailers Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop, Wallis and the out of town chain Outfit.

In 2015, Arcadia announced that it would be pulling Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Burton, Evans and Miss Selfridge from Westquay shopping centre, but said at the time that Topshop would remain unaffected.

A spokesperson from the group said: "Topshop and Topman Southampton store will cease trading on February 29, 2020 and we have endeavoured to offer current staff other employment options within the Arcadia Group.

"Our customers can still visit the nearby Topshop Topman Whitely Village or shop online."

Bargate Councillor Sarah Bogle said that she understands the closure is part of the "struggling" Arcadia Group‘s plans to "prevent collapse".

She added: "It’s going to leave a big gap on a prime site on Above Bar Street which hope gets a new tenant soon.

"I don’t have a strong preference for what replaces it but clearly these are really tough times for retail and challenging times for our High Streets generally in terms of how they evolve and survive.

"Some retailers have not moved with the times, been complacent and poorly managed, some have been negatively impacted by changing buyer habits of constant bargain-hunting and the rise of online retail.

"The high costs of large premises and holding high stocks is no doubt another factor.

" Arcadia Group’s particular problems have been much analysed in the business press."