A FITNESS clothing store is to close next month at Gloucester Green in Oxford.

Sweatshop has run a shop in the city for about five years but has told customers it will cease trading in a few weeks’ time.

Closing down signs have gone up at the store, which is one of a number of branches for the Sweatshop chain.

The chain has other outlets selling running gear, trainers and other items in locations including Reading, Milton Keynes, Brighton, Southampton and London.

A member of staff at the Oxford branch said it was the only one selected for closure.

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He added: “All the shops on our side of the city have suffered since the new Westgate opened.


“Sweatshop has been here at Gloucester Green for about five years now - it looks like it’s just us that’s going to have to close.”

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The employee said he had not been told if a new business was moving in when the branch closed.

The chain, founded in 1971, supplies running gadgets, clothing and the latest trainers.


It stocks well-known brands including Adidas and Asics and trainers can cost more than £150 a pair. Prices are now being reduced.

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The closure of Sweatshop is the latest challenge facing Gloucester Green landlords, real estate investment trust NewRiver.

Following the closure of Fopp music store in February last year the Fopp unit has been boarded up but games cafe Thirsty Meeples, also based at Gloucester Green, has announced it is to move there because it is a bigger unit than the one it currently occupies.

Staff at the games shop are expecting to make the move in the near future.

They said they were looking forward to the move because the former Fopp unit would offer twice as much room - useful for accommodating more games tables.

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At the moment the games cafe is sometimes forced tell customers to come back later because it is fully booked and they have run out of room.


Thirsty Meeples was the first board game cafe in England when it opened in 2013.

Ed Richards, associate director at NewRiver said earlier: “We are delighted to enable Thirsty Meeples to expand and upsize into the former Fopp site, marking the successful growth of a local Oxford operator in this community shopping hub."

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One large unit which still needs to be filled was occupied by Noodle Nation.

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Als Gongcha opened a Taiwanese food and bubble tea store last year and is to open a Japanese restaurant next door.

After it emerged Sweatshop is to close, Mr Richards added: "There has been a fair bit of movement within Gloucester Green recently.

"Sweatshop will be leaving the centre in February this year and so we are actively marketing that unit.

"Japanese restaurant, Shin, is due to open in early spring.

"We also have interest in the former Noodle Nation unit too so there is a healthy pipeline ahead for Gloucester Green."

Outdoor markets at Gloucester Green, run by LSD Promotions and the city council, attract plenty of footfall, and these are now run on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with street food stalls, clothing and antiques on sale.