Two Marlborough retail businesses not closing but moving - one of them to Newbury
In about six weeks the Marlborough Parade Antique Centre is packing up and moving to Newbury. The centre has been trading in The Parade for thirty years.
Gary Wilkinson and his business partner Penny Morgan, who also owns the Thatcham Jewellers and the Hungerford Jewellers, have run the centre for eleven years. They currently have 25 dealers with individual units.
Now they have taken the ground floor of a modern building in the centre of Newbury. The premises in Bartholomew Road has a frontage on the street.
Why, we asked Gary Wilkinson, are they moving? "Marlborough is dead - there is no increase in footfall." That, he explains, means it is harder to meet the rates and rent bills. "Our rent is not going up - but market rents in Marlborough are just too high - you can't survive them."
In addition he will be glad to be in a heated building that is not listed - and does not have yew trees outside that hide the building and that you cannot touch without permission.
"The move", Gary says, "is all positive for us. We'll get new dealers. One of our dealers who comes up regularly from Cornwall to change her display, she's coming with us to Newbury."
Foxtrot Vintage Clothing have been in their High Street shop by the Town Hall zebra crossing for three-and-a-half years. Elena Jackson founded Foxtrot Vintage Clothing ten years ago - opening a shop in Salisbury which is still flourishing.
Why are they moving? Manager Tim Jones says: "We've outgrown the shop, we need more space. We like the High Street and we like what Marlborough's about."
As soon as they can find someone suitable to take over their lease, they will be moving to a large space in Elcot Park on Elcot Lane.
These new premises will be large enough to house their ever growing stock and it provides a studio space so they can photograph clothes.
And most importantly, there is parking outside for people coming to look and to buy. Where they are now people cannot just leave their car and pop in to ask about an item of clothing or pick up something they have bought.
Come to think of it, the parking in The Parade is always pretty full - and The Parade still has not been resurfaced.