Rossiters of Bath not closing; Rossiters of Paignton is

Department store Rossiters of Bath was overwhelmed with enquiries from anxious customers when a radio report inadvertently implied that it was closing.

Rossiters of Bath not closing; Rossiters of Paignton is

The store is now trying to put the record straight: happily, it is not closing – but a department store that shares the same name is.

Buying director Ann-Marie James told that last week’s Saturday Live programme on Radio 4 opened a report with the words: “West Country department store Rossiters is to close after Christmas…”.

“On Saturday we were absolutely inundated with phone calls and enquiries from customers in the store who were devastated at the news that Rossiters of Bath was closing,” she said.

“It was very touching to know how much the store is loved – that at least was a positive outcome! But we’d like to make it clear that Rossiters of Bath will not be closing in January.

“Certainly, trade is tough, but December is proving quite healthy and we’ll do our absolute best to ride the recession.”

She said that the report was in fact referring to Rossiters of Paignton – “a very lovely department store in Devon which has absolutely no connection to our business, just coincidentally the same name”.

The Paignton store will close its doors for the last time on January 31, bringing the loss of almost 100 jobs and ending a long history. It has just celebrated its 150-year anniversary and was hoping that the event would provide a boost to trade. However, it says that the general economic climate proved to be against that.

“I’m very proud indeed of the many achievements and successes during our 150 years,” says executive chairman Nigel Rossiter. “However, the changing face of retailing in the UK makes stores of this scale less appropriate. It’s become increasingly difficult to provide the services and service that customers expect.”

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