Communication breakdown over St Albans toy shop

ST ALBANS: Communication between a toy shop threatened with closure and its landlords could have been better, both parties have admitted.

Little Wonders, an independent toy store in The Maltings, went on the offensive when it was faced with being pushed out of the city centre shopping centre where it had been based for the past eight years.

More than a thousand customers and supporters signed petitions opposing the notice to quit which was served after a 12-month period of rent reduction after which the rent had gone up and Little Wonders could not afford to pay.

The unit has now been let to bath-products chain Lush at the higher rent.

Last week co-owner Elena Ripoll confirmed that Little Wonders had agreed a lease on a new shop at the top of Holywell Hill and hoped to move in there as early as mid August.

Neither Boultbee, the owners of the centre, or their agents EFM Facilities had responded when asked about the the plight of Little Wonders on previous occasion.

But this week in agreement with Elena, they issued a statement confirming that in hindsight, communication could have been more efficient and reasonable.

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That had now been corrected with EFM offering assistance to allow Little Wonders to relocate “professionally and quickly” within St Albans city centre.

In turn, Elena and her partner Andy said they recognised that the landlord had acted in a fair manner and had done everything within reason to keep the tenant in occupation and trading.