WINCHESTER High Street is set for further changes as two shops plan to leave the city and another remains shut.

Cath Kidston and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) will both permanently close their doors before the end of the month, and Eastern Arts (EA) has been temporarily out of business for over a week.

National clothing retailer EWM, near the Buttercross, is currently selling off its last products at a reduced rate.

Signs in the window read: "This store is closing down subject to landlord negotiation."

Cath Kidston, which neighbours EWM, will remain open until April 28, and has a sign in the doorway reading: "Farewell Winchester."

Paul Spencer, executive director at Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It is always sad to see businesses close in the city and nationally the retail sector in particular is under pressure at the moment and key factors include increases in costs as well as the acceleration in the significance of online sales.

"High Street rents in Winchester are high compared to a number of other regional locations and this is partly driven by the city’s low vacancy rate and it’s desirability as a place to locate.

"This is why projects such as Saxon Gate and Station Approach are so important to provide new commercial space as well as other uses in parts of the city which will benefit from regeneration and contribute towards strengthening the city’s overall offer."

And uncertainty surrounds EA at the top of the High Street, which has had its doors locked and windows covered since April 8.

A post on the company's Facebook page reads: "Due to an incident that has happened over the weekend, our Winchester Salon will be closed until further notice.

"We have lost our data base due to damage caused and therefore are not able to call clients already booked for appointments.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

The Chronicle has attempted to contact EA, Cath Kidston and EWM, but await a reply.