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.