Much loved Crowthorne shop This 'n' That to closeBy Becky Barnes
October 17, 2012
A much-loved shop selling everything from birthday cards to basketware will be pulling down the shutters after 27 years on Crowthorne High Street.
This ‘n’ That business partners Gillian Clark and Maureen Welch have put the lease of 176 High Street up for sale after an ‘exceptionally hard’ year where the shop has not generated enough money to cover its overheads.
Gillian, 61, of Wokingham, said: “We feel very sad – 27 years is a long time and our regular customers are devastated. However, it has been on the cards for a couple of years and we got to the stage where we appealed ‘use us or lose us’.
“But business has started to go down – this year has been exceptionally hard as we have been getting more and more debt and just can’t take enough to cover it.”
Gillian was 35 and Maureen, from Crowthorne, was 42 when they decided to set up shop in 1985.
Gillian said: “We just wanted to bring a variety of things to Crowthorne.
“Over the years it has been so busy – we used to not allow pushchairs in the run up to Christmas but now the high street is so quiet.”
Gillian believes shopping centres built away from Crowthorne have taken business out of the town.
She said: “People go to them because they can buy everything – good service is not enough for people anymore.”
Both women will retire when the shop closes, although a date will not be set until the lease is bought.
Gillian added: “If business was good we would not be closing or retiring. I want to thank all our lovely customers for their support it really has been appreciated. It’s just sad there isn’t enough people to support us.”
The shop, selling ‘bits and bobs’ including haberdashery and children’s toys, attracts all ages from children to pensioners.
Pamela White, 79, of Pine Hill Road, has been coming in the shop since it opened.
She said: “We are all very sad – the more I hear about Crowthorne I get sad. All the businesses are getting pushed out.”
Hannah Litten, 41, from Crowthorne, mum to Florence, three and a half, added: “I come in once every couple of weeks mainly for little toys. I do not know what I am going to do for party bags now.
“Something I have always liked about Crowthorne is the independent businesses.”