STAFF working at Ringwood clothing store Peacocks have been left shocked after being told the store is closing down on Saturday.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought the budget clothing store chain out of administration last year and has set out plans to resume international expansion.

But it has told the nine members of staff at the Ringwood store, in the Furlong Centre, that the lease will not be renewed.

The shop will cease trading on January 26 and it is expected to be emptied by the end of the month.

One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “We are so upset.

“We were only told last week and so the news is only just settling in.

“There are nine of us here, some are going to other Peacock stores while some are going to work locally.

“There are some of us, though ,who have not found any job to go to. It is worrying and we are all very sad.

“The customers have been wonderful and it has been very emotional over the last few days.”

The news came days after DVD rental firm Blockbuster went into administration.

Administrators Deloitte have been appointed to the company, which has 528 stores across the UK, including one in Southampton Road, Ringwood and one in Fisherton Street, Salisbury.

Blockbuster, which employs 4,190 staff nationwide, is the third high street chain to go into administration irecent weeks.

The longterm future of the Ringwood store, which has a staff of six, is uncertain.

However, the branch is not one of those named as closing in a statement issued last week.

Lee Manning, joint administrator, said: “In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.

“We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors.

“The core of the business is still profitable and will continue to trade in both retail and rental while we seek a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.

“During this time gift cards and credit acquired through Blockbuster’s trade-in scheme will be honoured towards the purchase of goods.”