Art shop set to be rubbed out

On­line shop­ping and rent rises to blame

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­

AN ART shop is set to close after 30 years due to ris­ing rents and peo­ple shop­ping on­line, says its owner.

Alas­tair Pike, owner of ArtS­mart, an­nounced the store in London End, Bea­cons­field, would be clos­ing.

He said the ris­ing rents in the Old Town and de­cline in trade had led to him mak­ing the decision. although the store’s art classes will con­tinue in a new premises in Wy­combe End from Jan­uary.

He said: “We stop­ping sell­ing ma­te­ri­als and the side of things.

“The prod­uct is low value and it’s not be­ing bought enough to make it pos­si­ble for us to meet are art re­tail the rent and rates we have to pay.”

The store’s lease was due to end next year, but Mr Pike said it will be bro­ken early as he had an­tic­i­pated the rent ris­ing again.

“It’s gone on longer than we should have done but we can’t con­tinue any­more. The bot­tom line is some days the amount we took was less than the wages.”

Mr Pike said the in­ter­net had played a part as well as rents.

“Peo­ple will go on­line and buy paints and can have it de­liv­ered. We have seen art shops close in


Amer­sham, Mar­low and Taplow in the last two years and not felt a dif­fer­ence. Peo­ple aren’t mak­ing a spe­cial jour­ney any­more.

“The na­ture of re­tail is chang­ing, and it’s not as easy to get here.”

He said in 2000 when he took over he could have 35 cus­tomers a day, now it is more like 12 a day.

Mr Pike added: “The Old Town has al­ways been de­sir­able but as rents and rates in­crease more busi­nesses will not be able to con­tinue as they can­not af­ford to be there any longer.”

Photo by Toby Van­develde www.buyaphoto NL20137752

Alis­tair Pike out­side the shop

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