‘Closing down’ signs have gone up in Andover’s branch of Poundstretcher, amid reports of store closures across the country.

The branch, located in the Chantry Centre, has signs up stating “store closing”, with claims online that the store could close by the end of the month. If confirmed, it would be another in a line of stores to have closed in Andover’s high street this year.

Analysis by The Grocer suggests that its estate has shrunk by 75 stores since entering a restructuring deal last year, when the company struck a deal with its creditors.

Poundstretcher did not respond to the Advertiser’s request for comment.

Poundstretcher opted to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in July 2020 after the impact of Covid-19 on store footfall “exacerbated” problems after a decline in profitability in recent years.

The firm entered into the CVA deal with its creditors, including landlords, with over 90 per cent voting in favour.

Its proposals said rents would be paid on 253 ‘at-risk’ sites for an initial six-week period, but that the future of these “will depend on the commercial merits of each store” in collaboration with landlords, casting a shadow over their long-term future.

It is understood that more than 2,000 people work across the 253 stores, with 5,500 people employed by the group as a whole.

The deal also secured rent cuts of between 30 to 40 per cent for 84 of its 450 stores, while around 94 stores continued to pay the same rent.

Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG and joint supervisor of the CVA, said: “The approval of the CVA provides a stable platform from which the company can continue to operate across a more focused store portfolio.”

In October, following the CVA, Poundstretcher announced 50 new openings elsewhere as other stores were closed.

The news follows a tough period for Andover’s high street, with a number of businesses, including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, The Body Shop, Sainsbury’s and GAME having left town centre units over the past year.