Row rumbles on for Kenilworth traders

Kenilworth, Abbey End.'MHLC-31-01-15 General shots NNL-150202-115349009
Kenilworth, Abbey End.'MHLC-31-01-15 General shots NNL-150202-115349009

More retailers have waded into the debate over charity shops after claims from a struggling businesswoman that too many are killing off town centre trade.

Beading Crafty has announced its closure after eight years in business - slamming growing numbers of charity shops for using reduced rates and taking trade from independent retailers.

Since making the comments, owner Shona Perkins said she has had support from customers agreeing that with 80 percent reduction in rates, the shops have an unfair advantage.

But long-established town charity Myton Hospices has come to the defence of its position, claiming that without support and cash generated from the town centre shop, vital care could not be given.

The charity has had a shop in Kenilworth for the past 20 years, and has hailed it the store which pulls in most funds for care services.

Ruth Freeman, director of marketing at the charity, said: “We are mindful of the image some charity shops can have.

“That is why we have recently refurbished our shop in Warwick Road which now looks clean, contemporary and in keeping with the rest of the high street.

“Charity shops are especially important for charities such as us as they help us build a relationship with supporters and those who may go on to use our services in the future.

“We care for thousands of local patients and families every year and money raised in our Kenilworth shop goes straight back into the community to provide services including inpatient care, day hospice sessions, specialist children’s bereavement services and Myton at Home.

“We hope we will continue to receive fantastic support from shoppers, donors and volunteers who live in Kenilworth for years to come.”

Sarah Albellan, the organiser of Kenilworth Fiesta, who runs markets said: “Once the station comes there is an amazing opportunity for this town to thrive but only if the right balance of shops is there.

“It’s shocking that local independent traders are being pushed out of the town by a flood of one or two types of businesses. It’s a sad loss to Kenilworth that such a wonderful trader as Shona has decided she has no choice but to close. It’s time Kenilworth went back to supporting the traders. Sadly Shona isn’t the first and I suspect she won’t be the last either. Some common sense needs to start shining through. Please start to listen.”

One shopper said: “Charity shops should be able to operate in premises that would otherwise be empty, not have unfair advantage.”