FOUR stores are to close at Monks Cross Shopping Centre as one of its largest tenant companies pulls out of the site.

The retail park on the outskirts of York is the latest casualty of the struggling sector as British retail giant Arcadia reveals it will not be renewing its leases on the park.

The move will see the closure of Evans, TopMan, TopShop, Miss Selfridge and Outfit, with job losses expected.

Arcadia did not comment on its decision not to renew the leases, nor confirm the number of staff affected.

The move came to light after the landlord for the site, the Monks Cross Shopping Park Trust, secured planning permission to convert Unit 10, which houses Outfit, and Unit 12, which is home to the other brands, into multiple smaller units.

A report written by planning agents on behalf the trust, states: “The existing unit is currently occupied by Arcadia as their ‘branded’ store – Evans, TopMan, TopShop and Miss Selfridge - but on a lease which expires in September 2018; indeed Arcadia have served notice to quit both this unit and unit 10 (Outfit).

“The existing unit size has proven generally unpopular in terms of re-letting and accordingly the previous application was made to sub divide the unit while providing a modest increase in mezzanine provision for the newly created units. No specific tenants are identified at this stage.”

The stores all sit on the same south-facing row of the shopping park, which is already blighted by the vacant former BHS store having stood empty since August 2016 following collapse of the retailer.

Management at Monks Cross declined to comment on how the closures will affect the retail park, or the likelihood of finding replacement tennants.

Elsewhere a question mark also hangs over the future of one of Arcadia’s city centre stores after the Dorothy Perkins/Burtons store in Coney Street was earmarked for closure last September.

The store was given a reprieve until January, but has since remained open, with the latest comment from Arcadia stating: “The store remains open for now, with no closing date at this stage.”

Phil Pinder, chairman of York Retail Forum, said: “Data shows 20 per cent of shopping in the fashion sector is done online compared to the high street, which may sound good for shops, but you have still got to knock that 20 per cent off the high street, which is what we are now seeing with store closures.

“The current business rate structure seriously needs addressing at a national level as online retailers don’t pick up their fair share.

“It’s a worry that there is now all this empty space at Monks Cross as out of town tends to be more attractive to retailers as it provides easier space to fit out. York’s city centre shops are quirky and old, and need more money spending on them to bring them inline with brand standards."

“It will be interesting to see what happens to the units at Monks Cross, and whether it will mirror what we have seen in the city centre with restaurants taking up the leases.”