Much-loved department store Tudor Williams in New Malden will finish trading at 5.30pm this Saturday (June 29) after over a century on the high street. 

As reported earlier this year, the popular department store announced its plans to shut down in March. 

Back then, managing Group Director John Morris said: "Despite the tremendous effort by our New Malden management and staff and the extensive refurbishment, the store has unfortunately not seen the necessary improvement in sales."

Since March, the management at Tudor Williams embarked on a clearance sale dubbed the 'Great £1,000,000 Store Closing Sale', which began on May 17 and will end once the store has finished trading on Saturday evening. 

Speaking this week, Tudor Williams' Group Merchandise Manager Peter Findlater said that the response from the community in New Malden and beyond had been overwhelmingly positive. 

"The outpouring of feeling about the store has been very, very strong. Many people got in touch to say their parents, grandparents and even great grandparents had shopped at the store all their lives, since we've been open for over 100 years.

"The feedback from the public has been really heartwarming and positive."

The Tudor Williams Merchandise Manager also offered an analysis on what factors contributed to the beloved department store closing its doors. 

"I've seen what's happened to the high street since the banking crisis in 2008," Mr Findlater reflected. 

"We were fortunate to be in New Malden but we are just three miles from Kingston and just a train away from London. Add the growth in online shopping of course over the last few years and the alternatives are there for people where they were not before. 

"We've also faced issues with suppliers who didn't want to come into New Malden because they didn't like the High Street — we lost a number of high-end fashion brands a few years ago and so we lost some prestige amid the declining high street," he added. 

When it announced its planned closure in March, Tudor Williams employed around 40 staff, including temporary contracted workers and long-term employees — one of whom had worked at the store for 38 years. 

Mr Findlater said that two staff members had been able to find alternative employment at a partner store Elphicks in Farnham, while the others either ended their temporary contracts with Tudor Williams or were made redundant with redundancy packages. 

"There's an opportunity there for someone on the high street but you have to be quirky, you have to be able to offer something different," he said on the future of New Malden's High Street. 

The Tudor Williams Merchandising chief confirmed that no final decision had been made on the future of the building, and dismissed much of the speculation surrounding its future. 

"We have got to do quite a lot of internal renovation work. We're not going to sell the building as far as we are aware," Mr Findlater said.