Saturday, 21 October 2017

Couple open new Henley homeware store

A NEW homeware store has opened at the former Deep Clothing premises in Reading Road, Henley.

A NEW homeware store has opened at the former Deep Clothing premises in Reading Road, Henley.

Steve and Hannah Ward, who moved to the town from London in 2012, launched Central Home on Thursday last week.

The shop sells designer chairs, tables, cabinets and other furniture as well as lighting, crockery, decorations and children’s toys and games.

Mr and Mrs Ward, who live in Reading Road with their children Charlie, six, and Joshua, three, came up with the idea for the business in September.

They signed a lease on the shop shortly afterwards and spent several months refurbishing the premises as well as visiting trade shows to meet suppliers.



Mrs Ward, 37, a former PR worker who also used to manage a homeware store in her native Oxford, designed the shop’s new interior. She said she had always wanted her own shop as her parents Rosie and Geoff Taylor ran several ventures in Oxford over five decades.

She said: “We wanted to start something nearer home as I’d been commuting to London for more than a year and wanted a change.

“We loved the location and the shop itself — we knew it well and loved the exposed brickwork, which we thought would work well.

“A lot of clients in Henley look outside the town when they want something different and we wanted to offer something for them.

“It has been well received so far. Customers have been very interested and they’ve told us it’s just what Henley needs.”

The number of empty shops in Henley is nearing its lowest since the Henley Standard’s Think Local campaign began in February 2009.

Thirty-four out of 269 units were vacant then but now the total is less than 10, meaning the vacancy rate is under three per cent compared with the national average of 13.2 per cent.

Mrs Ward said: “The general feeling around Henley is definitely on the up. Hopefully we will encourage people to shop in the town.”

Deep Clothing closed in August when owner Vanessa Lakatos decided not to renew her lease after 18 years, saying she wanted to try something different.



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