A historic Oxford jeweller is preparing for its last few weeks of trade after deciding not to renew its lease following declining levels of foot traffic in the city.
Rowell of Oxford, whose history can be traced back to 1797, has slashed prices by 50% in the run-up to Christmas Eve, when it will open its doors for the last time.
The shop, in the city’s Turl Street, has seen the number of customers in the area decrease over recent times, and that has prompted it to call it a day.
Co-owner Stephan Pritchard, who runs the business with Mary Faulkner, has worked at the shop for more than 40 years and told the Oxford Mail: “It’s very sad that the shop is shutting after all these years but it’s the right time for us to go.
“Unfortunately the footfall in Turl Street has been disappearing because there aren’t so many well-known shops along here now.”
Mr Pritchard said the shop’s lease is due for renewal next year and it did not wish to renew it “under the circumstances”.
The paper reported that Mr Pritchard plans to move back to Yorkshire, where he is originally from. “I came to Oxford all those years ago and stayed but it’s time to move back,” he said.
“We want to thank all our loyal customers over the years – some of them have become good friends – I’ve even been on holiday with a few of them.
Mr Pritchard told the Oxford Mail that the business had managed to survive against online shopping over the years because people still wanted to choose their engagement ring or wedding ring in person, and would then often return for other items.