With House of Fraser closing its doors for good this Thursday, The Chronicle spoke to Reading residents to get their views on the long-standing store shutting down.

Ms Michelle Lewis, 25, a graduate ecologist from central Reading said: “It’s a bit of a shock as it’s been there for so long. I find it sad every time a shop closes on the high street as the culture around shopping is changing.”

She added: “I enjoyed window shopping there and have a fond memory of buying my prom dress there a few years ago.”

Ms Sophie Everman, 34, a Senior Customer Success Manager from Caversham said: “It is sad to see more and more retailers closing on the high street. I always feel so sad for staff getting made redundant.”

“I don’t go into town much anymore,” Ms Everman continued, “as everything I need can be obtained online and I prefer to support independent businesses. But when I do go, it’s never that busy anymore. It would be great to see the space used for creative or entertainment ventures.”

It seems that many residents would like the space to be used for creative endeavours. Ms Margaret Thomas, 68, a retired ex-retailer and fundraiser from Caversham said: “I won’t miss House of Fraser. It has been very tired for a long time. I think this is, or could be, an opportunity to create a space for creatives to showcase their talents and potentially sell their wares.”

She added: “Of course this all depends on the largess of the management company/owners of the Oracle. If business rates were fair, we certainly would not have the empty shops that are taking over our high streets.”

Ms Katie Thompson, 23, a paralegal from central Reading said: “I’m disappointed. I’ve always loved going in there, even if to just browse! I’m intrigued to see what will open instead of it though.”

The Chronicle also spoke to former House of Fraser Reading employee Miss Lianne Dunn, 43, from Caversham who said: "I worked there back in 2003 until 2008, and it was the best place to work! I definitely have the best memories of those days."

It has been decided that House of Fraser will be split into three separate stores, but decisions are still up in the air on what these amenities will be. The only thing that is certain is that a section will be used for another department store.