ARGUS readers have reacted with sadness and shock to news that Newport’s oldest department store will close later this year.

Wildings has played a prominent role in the city centre for the last 144 years.

But this week managing director Peter James revealed to staff that department store will close just before Christmas.

He said: “It is now time to bow out and recognise that the economics of trading in Newport no longer work for us and we are not immune to the upheaval that has been affecting many retailers up and down the country”.

Readers shared a mixture of sadness and anger to the news.

'Mario the plumber' said: “Sad really but it had been in difficulty for years before, even before Friars Walk had been built .”

'Scorpy688' said: “Ah, one of the last remnants of the Newport I grew up visiting.”

'DeeGee3218th' said: “Sad news.

“Unfortunately the writing has been on the wall for some time.

“Stores with limited internet presence are fighting over diminishing numbers of High Street shoppers.”

David Morgan echoed these remarks, saying: “This is devastating for Newport.

“Our oldest department store will be no more. So many stores are going because of internet shopping. It is bad.”

'Unakite8th' said: “I actually feel sad about the store closing.

“I feel sad for the lovely staff who will no longer be employed.

“I have shopped there since my teens and have always received quality service and quality products. Not only do they provide for the taste of the older generation, they cater for all ages.”

'Johnny doh' said: “It is a sad state of affairs happening all around the country due to reduced spending power of customers and internet shopping.”

'Vladimir19905' said: “Such a lovely store.

“I remember going there with my Gran, and my mum and aunties. My mum emigrated to the states in 1953, and we would spend every summer in Newport and Wildings was one of our stops.

“When I came over it was on my list. Will miss it on my future visits.”

A huge closing down sale will take place on October 10 to clear nearly £600,000 worth of stock that remains in the business.