Art shop set to be rubbed out
Online shopping and rent rises to blame
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.”
Alistair Pike outside the shop