Saturday, February 24, 2024

‘High streets in a sorry state’ cry shoppers as toy shop to close branch

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A POPULAR toy store with a history spanning over 100 years is set to close.

Toys UK, an independent retailer in the Eden Shopping Centre, High Wycombe, will shut up shop.

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Toys UK in the Eden Shopping Centre, High WycombeCredit: Google

The branch stocks traditional wooden toys, LEGO and trading cards.

The company wrote on Facebook: “It is with deep regret that we must announce that our High Wycombe branch in the Eden Shopping Centre is closing down.

“Visit us in-store now for 25 per cent of all marked prices while stocks last.”

And customers were quick to comment on the post and share their sadness.

Alexandra Brown said: “Such a lovely shop. Our high streets and shopping centres are in a sorry state indeed.

“By the time my children grow up, I fear they will be a thing of the past.”

Is there any way it can be saved?

Heather Copete

Heather Copete wrote: “Oh no! That’s so sad. Now we have no toy shop – is there any way it can be saved?”

Mike Moretti commented: “(It’s) very difficult for businesses to survive when the online space is so convenient and cheap.”

Zara, which has more than 50 branches across the UK, also closed its unit in the shopping centre last month.

Yet shopping centre director Andrew Norton told the Free Press that the upcoming 12 months were “looking bright”.

He said: “We’re looking forward to releasing details of the new retailers and leisure operators coming to Eden this year.

“Our current vacancy rate is just 5.7 per cent, compared to a national shopping centre vacancy rate of just under 20 per cent which demonstrates that Eden is performing exceptionally well.”

What is happening to the high street?

Strings of closures have swept the nation as the cost of living rises, energy bills soar and some businesses continue to feel the knock-on effect from the pandemic.

Even industry giants have fallen victim to high street closures in recent months.

Shoppers have been forced to slash their spending while the cost of running stores has also increased.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this summer found the UK had lost 6,000 stores over a five-year period.

Popular beauty retailer Boots sadly announced it will be closing 300 shops over the next year, following several closures in 2023.

Meanwhile, discount food shop Lidl, have also seen their fair share of locations shut down.

The full list, of which there are 1,168 locations, includes sites across all areas of Great Britain: 66 in Scotland, 83 in Yorkshire, 83 in central England, 91 in south London and 42 in south-mid Wales.

Bargain hunters will also be devastated to learn the discount retailer B&M closed yet another shop.

Punters may be disappointed to learn Wetherspoons has shut down 34 pubs in the last 18 months and has plans to close dozens more.

For more information, The Sun has compiled a full list of major high street shops closing, including Tesco, Clarks and M&S.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing money-sm@news.co.uk.

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

What are my rights if a company I’ve ordered from goes bust or stops trading?

According to Citizen Advice, you might end up without the item you paid for or with unfinished work if a company or trader stops trading or goes out of business.

There are several ways to try to get your money back or get the work done.

But, there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you paid for.

You should call the company, visit their office or shop, or write to them to find out what’s happening.

Explain what you’ve paid for and ask for the item you bought or a refund.

If you can’t get hold of a company or want to confirm that they’ve gone out of business you can search for their name on:

  • the Companies House website if they’re a limited company (with the letters ‘Ltd’ or ‘Plc’ after their name)
  • the Insolvency Register if they’re an individual (a sole trader) or a partnership – search both the name of the person and their trading name

It can take a few weeks for information to appear on these websites.

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