Falling trade

PUBLISHED: 11:29 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

SIR, — It is with much regret that we are closing our childrenswear shop here in St Albans after five years. Unfortunately, we did not sell any more in this town than we did in our village shop in Chorleywood, just 17 minutes drive away. To everyone this

SIR, - It is with much regret that we are closing our childrenswear shop here in St Albans after five years. Unfortunately, we did not sell any more in this town than we did in our village shop in Chorleywood, just 17 minutes drive away.

To everyone this seems totally unbelievable, especially as here we had passing traffic unlike Chorleywood where the main road bypasses the village centre. The demographics are similar. Needless to say our expenses are triple in St Albans.

The big question is why? Eighty per cent of our trade is now from customers living within St Albans (most of whom walk into town), compared with 40 per cent in the beginning. We just do not seem to have regained the business lost during the extensive road works. As St Albans is an old city with narrow and old infrastructure (part of its charm) and with limited parking, this is not an easy problem for the city to overcome.

All these problems mean that, from a business point of view, parts of St Albans do not have "city status" and hence the rents and rates are massively excessive. On a Saturday when the centre of the town is very busy, the footfall slightly away is significantly less.

We have enjoyed working with the people of St Albans and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us and for all the lovely messages of support we have received.

We will now concentrate on our Chorleywood shop and our new transactional website, launching in March.

Please do not forget us.

barbara, sue and BRENDAN,

Hopscotch Childrenswear,

Chequer Street, St Albans.

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