A MAJOR UK retailer is pulling out of a Pembrokeshire town centre.

Holland & Barrett, which has occupied a prime High Street location in Tenby for a number of years, is to close its store in the resort on March 21.

The company, which is Europe's leading specialist health and wellbeing retailers, has 1,300 stores in 16 countries.

It says that a 'challenging environment' is behind the decision to leave Tenby.

Town mayor, Cllr Tony Brown, said that the departure of the company would be 'a big loss' to Tenby.

He added: "The closure of Holland & Barrett in the town is a very sad turn of events and we feel for the staff members affected.

"We, as a town council do not yet know the reasons behind the company's decision to cease trading in Tenby.

“However, it would be disappointing to think that a business which has been a popular feature of the town for such a long time now seems to be struggling with the adverse impact of falling sales and the high cost of business rates like so many other High Street stores throughout the country.

“This will be a big loss and I just hope that a main shop premises in such a prime location in the retail centre of our beautiful town does not stand empty for long."

The double-fronted shop, opposite St Mary's Church, was previously occupied by the Julian Graves chain which was subsequently bought out by Holland & Barrett.

It had previously been a branch of Clinton Cards and before that was occupied by another High Street chain, Shoefayre.

A spokesperson for Holland & Barrett said: "Like any retailer in this challenging environment, we're constantly reviewing our store estate to allow us to offer the best possible shopping experience to our customers.

“As a result, our Tenby store will be closing on the March 21. Holland & Barrett customers can find alternative stores located in Haverfordwest and Carmarthen, as well as accessing thousands of products online, which can be delivered next day or picked up in store.”