A Lincolnshire jewellery shop owner fears that growing tariffs on high streets will make it harder for independents to survive after taking the painful decision to close her own business.
Cathy Powell, who runs Crown Jewellers in Bourne, plans to shut the shop in late October after more than a decade in business. It has traded from its current premises for eight years after relocating from a nearby shopping precinct.
She said tough trading conditions and a need to move closer to her parents were behind the move.
Mrs Powell, who began her jewellery career at Tiffany, said the difficulties that independent retailers are facing influenced her decision to call it a day.
A year ago she opened a second shop in Peterborough but had to close it in May after the high rent and business rates made it unfeasible to run.
She told the Rutland & Stamford Mercury that trading in Bourne continues to be tough.
“We have seen a noticeable drop in footfall in Bourne, especially during the last six months with the new parking charges and tickets. It’s such a shame that people have been subjected to it and it’s had a big impact on the town. Small independents face difficulties with rent and rates, so adding another charge to put people off coming into the town centre will kill it off.”
Mrs Powell said Crown Jewellers will open for the last time on October 27 and admitted she will miss a lot about the business.
“It has been brilliant working in Bourne. I love the town and I love the people. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. They’ve come to us for their engagement rings, then wedding rings and gifts. We have seen them grow up and then their children grow up. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our customers for their loyal support and friendship.”