Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Brief respite for shops after alleyway re-opens

A SHOPKEEPER hit by the closure of an alleyway in Henley is moving her business.

A SHOPKEEPER hit by the closure of an alleyway in Henley is moving her business.

Penny Badenoch, who owns Sno and Sun Gear, says passing trade has been “awful” since the passage between Market Place and Market Place Mews was closed in June in order to widen it.

The work is for the development of 14 new flats above the shops.

Revolution was forced to close because the wall of the shop was to be removed during the work.

Ms Badenoch is to move her shop into the former Blue Moon premises in Market Place.

She said: “It has been a very, very difficult time for us. I wouldn’t say the closure of the alleyway is 100 per cent the reason for relocating but it has pushed me into leaving the mews.”

The passageway was temporarily re-opened last week.

Ms Badenoch said: “The minute the passage opened I had people coming in but the minute it shut it went quiet again. It’s all about passing trade and you don’t get it when the mews is shut.”

Vintage Look also lost trade while the the passageway was closed.

Marilyn Barnes, a dealer in the shop, said: “There are some people who will make the effort if they know there’s something in here that they want.

“Otherwise, people just can’t be bothered to walk all the way round from the market place. That’s human nature. I will be relieved when the alley re-opens properly. These things have to be done, I suppose.”

Kathryn Hammant, who owns Stemtation florists, said: “We’re glad the work is just about finished because it has been a bit quiet to say the least and has hugely affected us in terms of passing trade.”

Matthew Callaway, sales director at Savile Row Travel, said the short period the alleyway was re-opened was like a “breath of fresh air”.

He said: “It has reinvigorated the area and it’s a massively positive thing for the businesses. The work was dragging on a little bit so it will be great for it to be open again while the weather lasts.”

Oxfam, in Market Place, was also affected because the panels in front of the shop that was being refurbished covered the front of the charity shop.

Deputy manager Ali Jinman said: “Footfall was right down but there was a massive increase when it re-opened.”

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