A pet shop in Salisbury that has been running for 28 years is closing on Saturday, June 16, as the owner can no longer afford to stay open.
When Salisbury Pet Stores, in Winchester Street, closes, four members of staff will be made redundant, reports Salisbury Journ.al.
Owner Sue Gardiner blames a number of factors, including the hike in the city’s parking charges, free buses to out-of-town shops, and high business rates.
“We can’t afford to stay open anymore,” she said. “The footfall has gradually been declining for many reasons and we’ve got to the stage where we can’t stay open any longer.”
She said the business has been struggling for a few years, but that things got worse when the 30-minute free parking along Winchester Street came to an end. “Traffic wardens started booking our customers there and then, and we lost a lot of customers from that,” she said.
She also blames Internet shopping and the fact that fewer children have pets now than in previous years. “Kids aren’t having as many small animals anymore; now they’re more interested in computers,” she explained.
“I just think it’s a combination. There’s so much competition and we are not in the best situation, Winchester Street is like a forgotten street. I’ve been fighting it off for a while, we’ve tried everything and closing it is not something I wanted to do. I would have preferred to have kept it going but I’m afraid it’s no longer viable,” she added.
She also has a store in Amesbury, which will remain open seven days a week. She said: “We’ve got our own parking there which makes a big difference.”