NORTHWICH Guardian readers have been reacting to the news the town's most iconic store will be closing its doors for good.

Bratts announced on Tuesday morning that it would not be re-opening the doors to its Witton Street store, a site it has occupied for more than 160 years.

The business was one of those badly affected by the Storm Christoph floods in January and although there was hope it would recover and re-open, those hopes have been dashed by the news.

After sharing the breaking news on our Facebook page on Tuesday morning, many of you reacted and commented, some of you recalling your fond memories of shopping at the store over the years.

Katherine Rowe said: "Oh no, so sad, my Mum worked here for over 30 years.

"I'm gutted. So so sad."

Elizabethann Tench said: "I hope this younger generation appreciate what they have as it's nothing compared to what we had in our days.

"What is left now in Northwich? Nothing."

Gerard Beswick said: "Very sad news. I have fond memories of working in the hair salon in my 20's, many moons ago."

Helen Littler said: "Will miss this lovely shop.

"Northwich town centre has been decimated by this pandemic."

Jocelyn Scrowther said: "This is so sad. A big loss to the town."

Sandra Whitlow said: "Will be missed and now the high street will be really empty."

Angela Coombes said: "This is so sad. The only decent store we had."

Eddie Coombes said: "That is the end of shopping in Northwich for me.

"I've shopped there for over 70 years and it is heartbreaking.

"So sorry for all the staff."

Sharon Oakes said: "Another part of Northwich history gone.

"Such a shame. But it's not a shock.

"Independent stores just can't survive anymore."

Andrea Massey said: "Sad to hear about this loved going to the coffee shop with my parents for nice food.

"Will be a sad loss to the town and staff."

Susan Sinagola said: "Such sad news for the staff and dreadful news for Northwich.

"The town centre needs a complete redesign.

"Council pressed ahead with Barons Quay when what was needed was redevelopment of what the town already had."

Neville Malam said: "The last prestigious store gone, irreplaceable.

Lesley Chantler said: "I'm devastated. No shops left now for decent choice of clothing.

"So sad. Sorry for all the staff too."

Emma Catharine said: "That is really sad, it's always been a good place for gifts and a great coffee and amazing scones!

"Have so many lovely memories of it since being little.

"Awful to see family run businesses go."

Dave Read said: "Sad news for the town but not really a big surprise.

"A look through the windows in recent weeks told you there was nothing happening towards re-opening.

"It might have been a much loved family owned store, unfortunately that doesn't count if the tills aren’t ringing.

"I’m guessing they owned the building so that’s probably what allowed them to keep afloat for the last few years."

Jill Clarke said: "Very very sad. Started working there when I left school at 15, left when I had my daughter’s and returned when they were older.

"I made many friends there, which still in touch with now.

"Loved working there, beautiful building, so sorry to all the Gray family."

Lisa Harrison said: "Absolutely gutted.

"This is such sad news for our town.

"A humongous loss."

Helen Croft said: "Oh such a shame, my Granny used to take me & my Sisters to the Cafe for a treat - milky coffee and half a tea cake - we used to go up in the old lift with black ornate screens....about 50 years ago!"

Daniel Collins said: "They'll have their reasons but it's a shame they're closing the original 'flagship' store to run the Nantwich store as the base of their operations.

"It must make more money than the Northwich store?"

Carolyn Caz Prior said: Sad news indeed. I have many happy memories of shopping there with my late Mum.

Lisa Choudhury said: "How sad! Worked in the cafe as a Saturday girl many years ago. Sad for the town.

Alasdair Dufonte said: "That is such a shame always remember going there with my mum and gran when I was a kid to the cafe and having a tea cake and Coke."

Louise McConkey said: "Such sad news.

"Something needs to be done to save the town!

"The amount of empty shops is awful - Northwich used to be thriving."

Geoff Lamb said: "My wife who was Barbara Pemberton worked there from leaving school at 15 until the early 1970's and remembers the Grays and the staff from that time. Sad day."

Sarah Hoskins Hamman said: "That’s devastating.

"Love Bratts, especially the restaurant upstairs. How sad."

Susan Johnson said: "Anyone remember the rocking horse half way up the stairs?

"Such a sad loss for Northwich."

Olivia Lowe said: "So sad, I’ve grown up visiting that store."

Joy Pearson said: "Oh no, that is awful news.

"Only discovered their cafe last year.

"Excellent friendly staff everywhere. Quality goods. What a shocking piece of news."

Wendy Harrison said: "Somebody please buy it.

"This is the landmark of our shopping area and must be one of the longest running business in England!"

Barbara Terrace said: "That is devastating.

"The best shop in Northwich with proper shop assistants, who gave excellent customer service."