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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
C&A closes UK doors for last time
C&A store
C&A: Shutting up shop in Hounslow and Bradford
One of the best known names in the British High Street will disappear forever as C&A shuts up shop for the last time.

The company's two remaining UK branches, in Hounslow, west London, and Bradford are due to close their doors for good on Thursday.

C&A
Founded in 1922
Grew to 109 branches in UK
Famed for 'Man at C&A' slogan
577 stores in 12 European countries
Closing UK operation after years of losses
The group has blamed fierce competition in the UK clothing market, which it said had cost the company 1m a week in the past five years.

But fashion analysts say C&A failed to move with the times, becoming synonymous with nylon slacks of the type worn by TV character Alan Partridge.

Memories

The UK arm of C&A was founded 80 years ago by Dutch brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer.

The Brenninkmeijer family still control C&A, which has outlets throughout the world and is Holland's biggest clothes retailer.

Steve Coogan as BBC comedy character Alan Partridge
Alan Partridge: The archetypal 'Man at C&A'?
The group announced it would be shutting its 109 British stores, with the loss of 4,800 jobs, last June following years of losses.

Most branches closed at the end of January, but a handful remained open because the new tenants were not ready to move into the sites.

A spokeswoman for the Hounslow branch said the last few days had been "manic".

"Prices were slashed to clear the stock and the place was overrun with shoppers."

She said the staff remained upbeat despite the closure.

"Everybody who wants another job has found one. Others are happy to have a bit of time off," she said.

Many people will have childhood memories of C&A school blouses and sensible shoes but the store that was once a trademark for economy became outdated.

The Brussels-based chain has 577 stores in 12 European countries.

It will continue to operate elsewhere in Europe.

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See also:

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