ANOTHER Salisbury shop owner has decided to close due to the tough Salisbury economy.
Theresa Wood, owner of The Strawberry Fox, said she had not taken the decision lightly but closed her store on Saturday.
The shop, which sold designer and luxury clothing, accessories and leather goods, had been in Cross Keys Chequer for almost five years.
Ms Wood said: “In business you have to make a profit and you have to enjoy what you’re doing. You’ve got to expand and develop and I cannot figure out how I can make a worthwhile profit in Salisbury anymore.
“As much as I love my shop, and it wasn’t unsuccessful, but it’s just not worth it. I had to make a decision about whether to carry on and get winter stock in. It’s not a light decision.”
Ms Wood said the refurbishment work in the Market Place, which was completed earlier this year, took away 70 per cent of her trade and she has been a vocal campaigner against the parking charges, which were hiked up to £7.40 a day in 2011.
“The parking charges have affected the city, people are not coming here to shop anymore. We’ve lost our critical mass of shops and the people and demographic we need are going elsewhere.”
She also said she was concerned the major refit at Waitrose and new HomeSense store opening next door, on a site where there is already a toy shop, sports store and three hours’ free parking, means all of a family’s needs would be catered for without needing to go into the city centre.
“I can’t compete with that. A pivotal point has been reached now and we’re on the downhill slope to becoming a clone town.”
Ms Wood said she fears other independent stores would close if they didn’t personally hold the lease. “Mine was with a limited company, if the lease was in my name I would have had to stay. People can’t afford to go bust but if they didn’t hold the lease, everyone would go.”
The news comes after Steve Dauwalder announced he is closing his tapas restaurant La Mollina on September 21. Oswald Bailey, which has been in the city for 46 years, is also closing.
The outdoor clothing store was the Old George Mall’s first tenant when it opened in 1968. The company, which has 17 stores nationwide, was bought out by JD Sports in March.