Dorothy Perkins, Burtons and Evans are closing their stores in Dartford town centre this Saturday.

Signs have gone up in all the shops in the Orchard Shopping Centre in High Street confirming the news which has been rumoured for many months.

The stores have been open in the centre since it opened on September 28, 1989.

Customers have expressed their disappointment of the closures to staff.

It is believed most of the staff will be transferred to other branches- the nearest being Bluewater, Gravesend and Bexleyheath. 

The reason for the closure is believed to be that the 25 year leases are now up and will not be renewed.

A spokesman for Arcadia said: "We are constantly reviewing our store portfolio across the group, and leases continually expire or come up for renewal.

"We are always looking at how to shape our store portfolio, investing in flagship stores, and increasing our brands' presence on-line.

"When leases expire that we do not renew, we endeavour to re-deploy staff affected to another store within the Arcadia Group as much as we can."

It's been bad news for shops in north Kent in the last few months- Waitrose recently shut in Dartford but will be replaced by Aldi and Marks and Spencers will be closing in Gravesend in August this year.

A spokesman for Montagu Evans LLP, which represents the Orchard Shopping Centre, refused to comment on the closure of the stores.

She said: "Aldi will be opening a large store next year (in the former Waitrose unit) and we have very strong interest in the adjacent unit therefore it isn't all doom and gloom.

"The client has asked us not to make further comment."

The former Waitrose unit is being split into two units and it is believed the shopping centre owners are referring to the one that Aldi is not opening in. 

Are you a customer and are surprised at the news? Call the newsroom on 01689 885 726 or email