WATCH: A look at Charles Street, Milford Haven, where it has been announced The Original Factory Shop will be closing, leaving a hole in an already patchy town centre.

Can you tell from the appearance of the building that it used to be Woolworths? Or maybe you remember?

The discount store known as The Original Factory Shop opened in the prime town centre location in June 2010, filling the space left by Woolies in two ways. Not only has it kept the large premises trading for over 13 years, it has also continued some of the famous high street store’s role, combining discounted brand-name clothing and footwear with furnishings, household electricals, cleaning products, pet supplies, party goods, toys, books and sweets.

Staff were heard to suggest to a customer a possible end of trading in April 2024, but the date of the store’s closure has not been confirmed. What has been confirmed is that the other original factory shops in Haverfordwest and Fishguard will not be closing.

Admittedly, it has been noticeable how footfall has declined in the shop over the years, still the closure is a blow to a town centre already suffering from empty shop syndrome, especially as the shop has been at the forefront of charity fundraising and holds pop-up events for local craftspeople.

The official statement from The Original Factory Shop is as follows:

“We regularly review the stores across our estate and unfortunately have taken the decision close our Milford Haven store. We are consulting with colleagues at the store and are working hard to support all of those affected.

“We’d like to thank all our customers for their support and look forward to welcoming them at any of our other two stores, which are both located within 20 miles.”

Despite being somewhat outclassed by its own marina - and suffering this latest blow - Milford’s not ready to be written off just yet. It boasts some great shops, cafés and theatres, all within easy reach of the picturesque waterfront, and spending any time there reveals a strong sense of community.