All change on the High Street - sign of regeneration?

Written by Sue Round on .

Willow & Wolf - at the St Peter's end of the High StreetWillow & Wolf - at the St Peter's end of the High StreetThe Rohan store opened a few weeks ago and now a new independent retailer, Willow & Wolf is coming to Marlborough at 95 High Street, the site formerly occupied by FatFace.

Isabella Wookey is opening Willow and Wolf at the beginning of July.  She told, “I will be selling designer womenswear on the first floor and downstairs will be full of gifts, homewares and fab furniture!  I travel all over and handpick all my stock and look for different things that people aren’t used to seeing on the High Street.  There is something for everyone.”

Mollia Design soon to be no moreMollia Design soon to be no moreMeanwhile at the other end of the High Street, Mollia Design will be closing its doors on July 14.  The shop, which has been open since March last year sells a wide range of handcrafted artisan homewares all from the UK, from hand blown glass to forged steel and copper, ceramics, leathers and furniture.  Niki Johnson, owner, sells her own hand-crafted wares, such as cow-hide handbags and resin art works from the shop. 

“The shop,” says Niki, “is good for unusual, handcrafted presents.  There is currently a closing down sale with a thirty to fifty percent discount on goods.”

Niki is closing the shop for a combination of reasons, some personal, but mainly because she feels “the shop offers luxury items, people’s surplus spending power has gone down and they are not into having stuff anymore, their focus has shifted – they’re more into having experiences.”

Niki Johnson with her cow hide handbag in Mollia DesignNiki Johnson with her cow hide handbag in Mollia DesignWith this in mind she hopes to run resin art workshops and intends to concentrate on developing an internet business.  A reduced range of Mollia Design goods can be purchased from

In a month that has seen major retail stores like Marks and Spencer and Debenhams acknowledge how tough the retail market is we can only hope that Marlborough High Street shops will survive in the face of very high rents and busness Rates, let alone the online onslaught.