A KIRKHAM clothes store is to close in the new year.
M&Co, on Poulton Street, will shut up shop in January.
The firm is opening a new store 15 miles up the road in Garstang and has decided that its Kirkham outlet is surplus to requirements.
Andrew McGeoch, head of marketing and web services at M&Co, said: "It is with regret that the M&Co store on Poulton Street in Kirkham will be closing down after Christmas. We'd like to invite our Kirkham customers to the fantastic new M&Co Garstang store, which opens its doors on December 5. The store will house all the fantastic affordable fashion found at our Kirkham outlet, plus an extended range of ladieswear including petite and boutique styles, lingerie, mens and kids."
The company, formerly known as MacKays, has been selling clothing for more than 50 years and has almost 300 high street stores, including one in St Annes Square.
The Kirkham shop opened in the year 2000. Currently it has seven employees, four of which are permanent and three are temporary.
The assistant manager will be going to Garstang and the company says it will "do its best to accommodate the others and find them alternative stores to work in".
Elaine Silverwood, chair of Kirkham and Wesham Business Group, said: "It's a real kick in the stomach. One for the members of staff and also for us to have a large unit like that empty is a big worry.
"We're just hoping it doesn't become a Tesco Express, because all that will do is take business away from Co-op and Morrisons and wont bring people into the town.
"We really need some new blood, like a quality butchers or some other local amenity. Kirkham is the hub of the villages and things selling fresh produce are a real draw."
Kirkham Coun Keith Beckett was also disappointed by the announcement. He said "It's a fair set up of a shop, it will be a loss to the town. In Kirkham we seem to have a lot of cafes, fast food outlets and a few pubs. It's not looking good, we need something different."
No exact date has been earmarked for the closure of M&Co.
The shop is currently holding a closing down sale.