Rock Collection in Norwich to close their shop in the city’s lanes
- Credit: Archant © 2012
A popular shop in the Norwich Lanes is to close after more than 30 years of trading on the high street and the city's market.
The Rock Collection, which specialises in alternative and street wear clothing, will shut its doors on Lower Goat Lane at the end of the month and move their business solely online.
Murray Walker, who runs the shop with his wife Mo and their small team, started selling costume jewellery on Norwich market in 1982 when he was 19, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jimmy Cossey, his mother Beryl Walker, and his uncle Freddy Cossey, who all worked on the market.
He moved part of his business to a shop on Dove Street during the redevelopment of Norwich Market before leaving the market good in 2012 and trading from the current store.
Mr Walker noted a number of reasons for the closure of the shop which have affected their foot fall and profitability.
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'We are a destination shop which is unique to Norwich and unique in what we stock and we always have been,' he said. 'But now we are seeing youngsters coming in and looking at t-shirts, bags, or a dress and trying them on before walking out and buying it cheaper online so we have had to move with the times and start competing with those online retailers.
'We are a big unit and our rent is very high for Norwich so with the rents and rates it is very expensive.
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'Our rates are actually going down as are many in Norwich but nevertheless they are very high and that combined with things like insurance and general running costs makes overheads very high so that is a factor.'
The store, which will lose no staff in the move, began its closing down sale this weekend and will finally close on March 31, with the majority of the remaining stock moved to their unit on Upper Goat Lane, which is where their online store will continue to run from.
Staff have assured their customers that they will still offer a phone service for those less confident in buying online and there are plans to possibly have a small showroom.
Mr Walker added: 'I will miss the high street, I'm a high street man and was a market trader before getting this shop and I never thought I would see the day I would move on and leave the high street.
'But it is exciting as well moving onto a new chapter and we have a young team who are very motivated about what is to come.'