Forfar town centre has been dealt a business blow with the closure of the town’s Peacocks fashion outlet.
The Castle Street shop has been emptied after indications last week that the premises were to close.
It is thought that at least half a dozen jobs have been lost, although the store operators declined to respond to a request for comment.
The firm continues to operate other Angus stores in Arbroath and Montrose.
The Forfar outlet faced uncertainty two years’ ago but remained in business
The large store occupies a prominent town centre position on the corner of Castle Street and the road leading to Forfar’s biggest car park, The Myre.
Formerly a supermarket under various guises, it became an Iceland before the Welsh clothing firm moved in when the frozen food retailer shut up shop in 2016.
The closure comes as Forfar traders are continuing their fightback from the coronavirus pandemic, having recently been given the boost of a the suspension of off-street parking charges for another six months.
Angus councillors took the district-wide decision not to re-introduce the controversial scheme and will now embark on a full review of on and off-street parking.
More than 60 Forfar businesspeople had put their names to a letter to Angus Council chiefs warning of the potential impact of charges on the prospects of commercial recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
Independent firms said parking charges were “killing the town” against a background of strong competition from national multiples, an increase in online shopping and the weakened economy.
The retailers’ statement said: “We are gradually coming out of lockdown and finding our feet again, but within just a few months our next big challenge is looming; the end of the Brexit transitional period.
“None of us know what exactly this entails but it will certainly affect consumer confidence, which will knock footfall just when we need it most.
“We need to be meeting this challenge from a strong local base.”