Spate of shop closures in city

First published in News by

ANOTHER series of shops have closed in Salisbury city centre as retailers continue to fight against tough trading conditions.

The Truly Scrumptious fudge shop in The Maltings, the Panasonic Store in the Cross Keys Centre and Rowlands clothing store in Milford Street are all now standing empty.

Rowlands Clothing has gone into administration just two years after it was saved from closure by a private equity firm.

At one time the firm had seven outlets across the south west and employed 60 people.

Now administrators KCBS have been called in and shops, including the Salisbury branch, have closed.

In February 2012 the company was bought by Rosemex Trading a subsidiary of London-based consortium New World Private Equity.

The clothing chain was established in Bath 30 years ago and specialised in quality clothing for the over 55s market.

Truly Scrumptious Treats was a handmade fudge shop started by Deborah Morgan in 2011.

Customers could watch the fudge being made in the shop, which sold a range of seasonal flavours as well as traditional favourites and other locally produced biscuits and treats, and it also catered for children’s birthday parties.

The business is continuing to trade online and the fudge is available from the Cupcake Heaven shop next door.

Production has moved to a commercial kitchen and the fudge will also be sold at fairs and events.

The Panasonic Store in the Cross Keys Centre shut this week.

It was run by an independent dealer and customers are being referred to the company’s other branches in the south west.

The latest batch of closures follows Sandra Barnes’ decision to close the Silver Gift Gallery in St Thomas’s Square after 20 years of trading, and the closure of Salisbury’s only independent book retailer Cross Keys Bookshop at the end of January.

The owners of the bookshop, William Hills and Caroline Wale, who ran it for 16 years, blamed online retail, the recession, parking problems and disruption caused by the Market Place renovation for the closure.

And some larger retail chains have also hit hard times, with the Animal Shop the latest to close its doors in February.

Despite the spate of closures research shows that Salisbury continues to have one of the lowest percentages of empty shops in the country.

And the restaurant trade has seen a boom with the Turkish Restaurant Peras Palace, Wildwood and Bill’s all opening recently and Nando’s chicken restaurant coming soon.

The Chef Peking Restaurant on Catherine Street is closed at the moment although a sign in the window says a new restaurant will open on the site in the near future.

Comments (2)

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6:33pm Thu 3 Apr 14

cactus Joe says...

Always a shame to loose shops and these are no exception. It's a trend effecting all town centres of course across Britain and not unique to Salisbury though. Partly the ongoing economic downturn and partly the effects of the internet. The downturn will go away but I fear the effects of the internet will not... In part weve been lucky though in Salisbury weve seen what otherwise would be empty shop units replaced with cafes and restaurants and whatever your view on whether there are too many of these in Salisbury (and I know a lot of people think there are too many) they're certainly better than empty shops. I think we as the public in Salisbury need to think what we want our town centre to be. There are whatever way you look at it too many shop units in the city centre for the number of people/companies who wish to rent them and we need to decide what we want to do with those that aren't needed. Should they be changed to housing? Should there be more community uses, more tourism uses, more places for children. It's a difficult challenge but it needs thinking about I reckon? What does anyone else think?
Always a shame to loose shops and these are no exception. It's a trend effecting all town centres of course across Britain and not unique to Salisbury though. Partly the ongoing economic downturn and partly the effects of the internet. The downturn will go away but I fear the effects of the internet will not... In part weve been lucky though in Salisbury weve seen what otherwise would be empty shop units replaced with cafes and restaurants and whatever your view on whether there are too many of these in Salisbury (and I know a lot of people think there are too many) they're certainly better than empty shops. I think we as the public in Salisbury need to think what we want our town centre to be. There are whatever way you look at it too many shop units in the city centre for the number of people/companies who wish to rent them and we need to decide what we want to do with those that aren't needed. Should they be changed to housing? Should there be more community uses, more tourism uses, more places for children. It's a difficult challenge but it needs thinking about I reckon? What does anyone else think? cactus Joe
  • Score: 5

8:51am Fri 4 Apr 14

journalist1 says...

I think it's a good point, Cactus Joe. It would be good to see some vacant commercial buildings turned into shared spaces for small start-ups or artists/craftspeople
, and that might be interesting for tourists. But it needs someone central to get a grip on the problem and incentivise property owners to co-operate by cutting their enormous rents, and I don't think there is anyone south of the Plain in a position to do that.
I think it's a good point, Cactus Joe. It would be good to see some vacant commercial buildings turned into shared spaces for small start-ups or artists/craftspeople , and that might be interesting for tourists. But it needs someone central to get a grip on the problem and incentivise property owners to co-operate by cutting their enormous rents, and I don't think there is anyone south of the Plain in a position to do that. journalist1
  • Score: 2

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