Mother-daughter duo fight to preserve Newbury clothing store
Rising online sales and a post-pandemic comedown have spelt continued struggle for one independent Newbury retailer.
Ann Howes has run The Clothes Shop – a classically stylish ladies' boutique – on Newbury’s Pound Street with her daughter Debra since 1985.
But it is not just high street chains struggling in the current cost-of-living crisis, say the mother-daughter duo.
The Clothes Shop offers an extensive range of unisex casual outfits, hats and accessories, attires for weddings and special occasions for all ages, plus a bespoke fitting service.
But Ann Howes, from Wash Common, says trade has become increasingly dormant over the last few months.
“It’s as if someone has closed both ends of the street,” she told newburytoday. “No one comes down here anymore.”
Debra Howes, from Kintbury, added: “We need people to realise that online isn’t the only way.
“They can come in store and we measure them up, and it’s so much better value for money.”
The shop sources its wares from trade shows and longstanding trusted suppliers.
After the pandemic, they say the shop experienced a boom in delayed wedding sales and, more recently, for the Queen’s funeral and the King’s Coronation.
But the shop has experienced less custom than in previous years and wants to remind shoppers that shopping local and in-store is a safer and more cost-efficient option than the alternative.