Friday, 17 September 2021

Shoppers urged to stay local by trader

A SHOPKEEPER hit by a closed alleyway in Henley has urged people to buy locally.

A SHOPKEEPER hit by a closed alleyway in Henley has urged people to buy locally.

The passage from Market Place to Market Place Mews has been shut since Tuesday last week while work to widen it takes place.

The work, which is for the development of 14 new flats above the shops, is expected to last up to eight weeks.

As the Henley Standard reported last week, the traders say their custom has slumped. Sno and Sun Gear said it had no customers on Tuesday.

Kathryn Hammant, who co-owns Stemtation flowers, said: “People need to think about buying local rather than going to Marlow or to Waitrose. If ever there was a time when businesses needed people to shop I would say it is now.

Ms Hammant, from Sonning Common, said the shop had been very quiet in the past week. Although the business relies on phone and internet orders, she said she would usually expect to sell hundreds of pounds worth of flowers through passing trade but had hardly sold anythis week.

Ms Hammant added: “We’re still making an effort by putting displays outside but it’s going unappreciated.We knew this as coming so we didn’t buy our usual selection of plants. If we did I would be finding new homes for them now. Roll on the eight weeks.”

An alleyway next to Boots in Bell Street that leads to the King’s Road car park has been opened temporarily during the day and Ms Hammant said this had helped people reach the shops.

Sandy Pascall, who works at Sno and Sun Gear, said the shop had recorded just 14 sales between Thursday last week and Wednesday when it would normally expect three times that number.

“That shows how important passing trade is for us,” she said. “Most of the customers we have had already know us. We usually average about 20 people coming in each day but we’ve had hardly anyone.”

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