Marks & Spencer's announcement that it plans to pull out of Hounslow has prompted a flurry of reaction from locals.
Many of those commenting online described news of the planned closure as the latest symptom of the town's gradual decline.
But others said there had been signs the area was picking up, and expressed their surprise at the retailer's decision.
Jim Pritchard summed up the mood of many on the Hounslow Chronicle Facebook page, writing: "Hardly surprising. Hounslow is something of a dump," while Charlie Mann lamented: "People use to ask to live in Hounslow as it was a desirable place."
Coyley Amey struck a similarly pessimistic note, commenting: "Let me guess, another pound shop or clothes for a £1.. failing that a nasty cheap takeaway shop.. Wow Hounslow you never fail to surprise me how much of a dump the High Street is becoming!"
Patrick McKeown said he had noticed a "slight improvement" in his hometown recently, albeit "sadly not enough", while Huw Hopkins postulated the store's proximity to budget clothes retailer Matalan may have played a part in its demise.
Stephen Fry, chief executive of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, branded M&S's decision "short-sighted", claiming there were promising signs of an upturn in the town centre's fortunes.
Satvinder Dadiahla also questioned the retailer's move, blaming the store's failure on the decision to make it an 'outlet' branch.
Hounslow Council leader Steve Curran described the news as a "sad day for Hounslow".
He said he didn't agree with the retailer's decision but understood it was struggling across the country.
"I think Hounslow is on the up. We've got the planning application [for the car park site beside Asda] coming through this summer and we've seen lots of interest from other big name brands, but it's their [M&S] decision to make," he told getwestlondon.
He added that the council would work with M&S and Hounslow Chamber of Commerce to support staff affected by the planned closure.
The announcement had others coming over all nostalgic, like Cheryl Hogg, who said she and her mother had worked at the store in the '80s.
"Sad to say we had the best years at Hounslow M&S, we were part of a community, we knew our customers and took pride in our store," she wrote. "This is sad but we've seen it coming."