Last day of trading at Newbury store Kitchenmonger today (Tues)
AFTER more than 13 years of trading in Newbury’s town centre, Kitchenmonger will close its doors to the public for the final time today (Tuesday) with the first floor of the building to be turned into a flat.
Plans for the conversion, from retail space into a two-bedroom flat, were approved by West Berkshire Council in December, and while the ground floor will still be retail, Kitchenmonger manager Paul Redman said the shop would not be big enough for the business to remain.
As a result, Kitchenmonger will cease trading today, and will have vacated the site by Saturday.
Mr Redman said the latest plans demonstrated that planning laws made it too easy for prime retail spaces to be lost. “Its bad news for the town centre...it’s like a domino effect,” he said. “Newbury is going to have less and less independent shops, it’s going to turn into one of those anonymous towns with the same shops, same restaurants.
“When I put the news on Facebook I’d had 60 hits within an hour. Every single person said please not another hairdressers or cafe. “The council will be the first ones to say ‘where have all those nice little shops gone?’
“Retail is changing massively. Everyone will have to do all their shopping at retail parks and online.”
When asked how his regular customers had reacted to the news of Kitchenmonger closing, Mr Redman said: “They were really quite upset, we are part of the furniture of Newbury after 13 years.
“I had one woman come up and hug me in the street.
“The shop has become a social hub.
“It has been great, really great. I don’t regret a day of it. It’s been a really good 13 years.
“I would like to send a huge thank you to all of my regular customers over the years.”