Friday, 22 February 2019

Car parts shop shuts and bank to follow

Car parts shop shuts and bank to follow

A CAR parts shop in Henley has closed and a bank will soon follow suit.

Autolex in Friday Street, shut last week after the lease expired.

A sign on the window of the shop says: “It is with sadness and regret that we have had to close our Henley-on-Thames store.

“We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the years.”

Owner Richard Walters, who bought the business 12 years ago, said he had decided not to renew the lease as the business was costing too much to run.

He said: “When you look at the rents and rates in Henley, it was a decision we had to take. It was time.

“It’s a shame because it has been there for 40 years but with the internet and everything footfall was down.

“We thank all our loyal customers. We had a good customer base — they were great but there just weren’t enough of them.”

The unit is now being offered for rent at of £1,917 a month.

Meanwhile, Santander will close its branch in Duke Street in May.

The Spanish-owned bank announced this week that it will be closing 140 outlets nationwide, blaming the rise of internet banking.

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels.

“As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches and those where we have other branches in close proximity.

“We will support customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs. We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles wherever possible.”

 Patisserie Valerie in Henley market place is also at risk of closure after the company went into administration.

The café is one of almost 200 nationwide that could close after parent firm Patisserie Holdings was served a wind-up order over
£1.14 million owed to HM Revenue and Customs.

In October, the company discovered fraudulent activity in its accounts, which resulted in chief executive Paul May standing down.

Administrators KPMG are closing 70 stores immediately and are looking for buyers for the remaining 121, which include Henley.

Until then the café will remain open.

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