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Future uncertain for Teesside Park department store after staff ‘warned they face redundancy’

The future of a major fashion store in Teesside Park hangs in the balance as staff have been warned they are at risk of being made redundant.

The popular shopping park H&M store employs more than 20 people and currently faces an uncertain future.

No final decision has been made on whether or when it will close permanently, but in a statement on Tuesday, April 19, the fashion chain said it was in negotiations with the owner of the retail park site. The employees were, however, informed that they were at risk of dismissal.

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H&M is a popular store in the business park and has occupied a unit next to Boots and close to JD Sports for several years. It is the only remaining H&M in the Teesside center after the brand closed its store at the Cleveland Center in Middlesbrough last summer. The closure would mean the next nearest H&M store is at the Middleton Grange shopping center in Hartlepool, after which the nearest stores are Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle or York.

Teesside Live have been contacted separately by two readers who claim the Teesside Park branch may close in June, but this has not been confirmed by the channel. They say there are more than 20 store employees who are “heartbroken” and attribute the closure to “external factors”.

“This is a huge shock to all staff but will leave a big void in fashion retailers in the Teesside area,” said one. “The store is a firm favorite with many shoppers. Over 20 staff are facing redundancies and I’m sure they all want to do everything in their power to keep this store open and on Teesside Park. The staff of the brand within this store are heartbroken.”

The other said: “It is proposed to close H&M in Teesside Park at the end of June, this closure will leave between 20 and 30 staff made redundant. The Middlesbrough store and the Stockton store have already closed but the Teesside Park store is still busy and do not want to close.

“It is a very popular brand and this store is an integral part of the H&M portfolio. Customers will not be happy with this closure.

“This is going to be a massive loss for Teesside Park as the store is still very busy, the closure is not the fault of the brand and they do not want to close but external factors are forcing closure.”

Firefighters were called to H&M in Teesside Park in December

The store was closed for a week from late December following a fire in the staff room.

H&M has not confirmed how many staff members may be affected by the decision to close the store. “We are in negotiations with the owner of H&M Teesside Park but no agreement has been reached at this time and our employees have therefore been informed of a potential risk of redundancy,” an H&M spokesperson said.

“We continue to carefully manage our portfolio to ensure our employees and customers have the best experience with H&M.”

Teesside Live has also approached Teesside Park for comment.

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