Gifted to close city centre shop after less than five months of trading
PUBLISHED: 15:25 13 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:29 14 January 2020
A gift shop in Norwich has closed its doors just five months after opening.
Gifted opened in the city centre's London Street in August, and announced today it would be closed by the end of January.
Founder and owner of Gifted, Aaron Roberts said: "The store just wasn't turning over what it needed to in order to justify the business rates and the rent.
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"We do want to experiment with locations and try out new places but London Street clearly wasn't the right place for us. I think because it's more of a thoroughfare and less of a destination - it didn't fit with our offering."
Gifted also has sites in King's Lynn, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, and in Norwich's Castle Quarter.
"We also added a lot of new lines to our Castle Quarter store so I think that's diverted footfall away from the London Street store," Mr Roberts went on.
"Our footfall through the Castle Quarter remains really strong. The closure of the London Street store hasn't impacted our brand overall because we look at each store as its own entity, and it just wasn't bringing in the turnover."
He added: "We did get a slightly lower rent than previous tenants but it was still madly expensive, and when you combine that with the business rates it was just too much."
The store currently has four members of staff, one of which will be transferred to the Castle Quarter store. The other three members of staff have already found other jobs.
"The challenges on the high street are well reported," said Mr Roberts. "I hate to bring up the B-word but I do think it's impacted shoppers' mentalities. They just don't have the confidence to spend as much because of all the uncertainty."
Gifted sells a range of product including Gothic and Manga lines.
Recently Mr Roberts has also expanded the American sweet section of the Castle Quarter store, which he said has brought in more custom.
Mr Roberts said he will continue to look for new store sites around Norfolk: "It's just a case of finding the locations that are right for us."
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