Rebecca is going to miss her Exquisite Mistakes in Warwick
THE latest victim of the recession in Warwick is a specialist retro and classic clothes shop, which opened in West Street some 18 months ago.
Rebecca Clarke was the inspiration behind Exquisite Mistakes, which she ran as a dress agency but also used as a base to sell jewellery, original art and limited edition prints.
As she prepares to put up the shutters on February 28, Rebecca said: “I can’t complain about the position of my shop although I have to say that the constant roadworks in the town last year certainly didn’t help me or many others. It meant several potential customers avoided Warwick altogether.
“On top of that I also had a poor November and December and that’s normally the period that generates enough sales to tide you over through January and February.
“Even though I’m on the edge of town I can’t blame my location because the traffic slows outside the shop as it heads in to High Street and I have lots of motorists glancing in the window who then came back in their lunch times. In the end it just wasn’t enough.”
Rebecca, aged 41, had the dream of selling on good quality clothes or quirky possessions that people had bought on a whim and turned out to be “mistakes” but still worthwhile items in themselves.
She admitted: “I also had a very reasonable landlord, although shopkeepers on this stretch usually have to pay just under £1,000 a month in rent before gas, electricity, water and business rates.
“Just up the road, the florists, Floral Design, did everything to keep going, including opening a tea room. But they also closed three weeks ago.”
The mother-of-two hopes new and old customers will take the time to call in and see some of the stock she sells on commission before she shuts for good at the end of the month.
She said: “Selling clothes, jewellery and art on behalf of others has been wonderful - I’ve made so many friends here and it’s really disappointing to be going. But sadly the time has come for me to look for another job.”
In January a report by business analysts Duport stated that between July and September last year 183 businesses with postcodes in Warwick and the surrounding villages had closed. This did not include Leamington.
The Warwick figure of 183 was out of a total number of 4,250 companies registered with CV34 and CV35 postcodes. At the time the district council’s enterprise development manager, Ray Smith, said that although the figures for Warwick showed a “worrying decline” for July to September, his research showed a sharp recovery from September leaving the town no worse off than in October 2011.
Sue Butcher, of Warwick Chamber of Trade, who herself trades at hardware store Torry’s, just down the road from Exquisite Mistakes, said: “The loss of individual shops shows that things are still very tough out there. Unfortunately people have less money to spend.”
On the other side of town, in Smith Street, businesswoman Samantha Hinton, is still waiting to hear whether her IT support company can continue to use half of her step-father’s antiquarian bookshop as an office base.
The district council served Ms Hinton with a notice to quit because it wants to preserve the street for priority retail use. Ms Hinton says she is securing the future of the bookshop and points out that recently at least four other shops, including another florist, have closed in Smith Street.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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