Worry for town centre with two more shop closures

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Kenilworth High Street is set for another hit with news of two more long-standing shops closing their doors for good.

MDM Music and Crash Bang Wallop have joined the growing list of businesses which can no longer survive in the town centre on top of four closures since January.

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And online shopping and competition from national chain stores is to blame for the worrying demise of the town’s high street.

Mick and Carol Dolby who own MDM Music on The Square, said they can simply no longer compete with online prices and will this summer be closing their doors on their beloved business for the last time after around 14 years.

“It is a shame but I’m afraid this is the way things are going with online sales,” said Carol.

Crash Bang Wallop - formerly a pound shop - will end over seven years trading on Warwick Road when it closes it doors on May 17.

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The two new losses add to this year’s closures of Farmers Fayre, Blockbuster Video and Paul Hair Studio in Abbey End.

And Co-op Electrix will close for good tomorrow (Saturday) after falling victim to the rise of internet sales.

Ali Kurji, chief executive, Heart of England Co-operative Society, described the closure as “regrettable” after 15 years in the town, but inevitable in the face of online shopping.

“The challenging retail environment coupled with the ever increasing growth in online shopping means that sadly the business is no longer viable,” he said.

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He said that the store employs four members of staff, two of whom will be redeployed and two who will take voluntary redundancy.

But the closures have only added to worry for workers fearing the end of local shops and rise of online trade and out of town retail parks.

The owners of Kenilworth Books and Camerama in Talisman Square have previously expressed grave concerns for the future of independent businesses across the UK.

And Zoe Court, town centre manager, has urged shopper to help businesses in the struggle for town centre trade.

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“Kenilworth is still a town with below the national average of empty units,” she said.

“Whilst I am optimistic that these the empty units will soon be filled, it is really important for people to support their local shops to ensure the future of our town centre.

“I would be interested to hear what people want to see in their town. Comments are often made that we have “too many” charity shops, but they do well in the town, have an important role, and look better than empty units.”

She said that the three units on Abbey End are ‘soon to be filled’ but that no details are available at this stage.