SOUTHEND shoppers have spoken of their sadness and memories of Argos after it was revealed that the store in Victoria shopping centre is closing and moving to a nearby Sainsbury’s.

Argos, which has been at the Victoria shopping center since soon after it was developed in the early 1970s, is relocating into the nearby Sainsbury’s. It was one of the chain’s first stores.

A Sainsbury spokesperson said the move will happen in July.

This is the latest unit that will be left empty in the town centre.

Sharon Elvige, 61, of Wells Avenue, Southend, said: “I think that it is sad that the shop is leaving the shopping centre.

“Southend Town Centre is going downhill very quickly. I do not think there are enough decent shops in the town centre to make people want to go shopping there.

“I do have very fond memories of shopping at Argos in the Victoria Shopping Centre, as I remember there was a time that it was the only shop to get all different kinds of things.

“Shops do seem to be leaving the town centre very quickly and I do worry about it as soon, there will be nothing worth going there for.

“I think that most people feel the same as me, there isn’t a big draw to the town centre these days, I only go there for the banks now.”

Other residents took to Facebook to raise their concerns about the news.

Diane Howe said: “Southend has really become a a bad area, I think that it’s quite embarrassing. Whoever’s in charge, you need to sort it out.”

Andrew Gwilt said: “Guess that people would have to go to the one at the Airport Retail Park next to Southend Airport.”

Jack Coward, from Rayleigh, said he had fond memories of playing in the shellfish and lobster sculptures outside Argos while his parents shopped inside.

According to the BBC, as many as 200 of Argos’s 845 stores are expected to close over the coming years as leases expire, with some relocated into Sainsbury’s supermarkets.