By Kelly Wickham
A manager of a fashion store in the city centre said the councils need to get together and face up to the state of the high street.
Pure Collection, a women’s clothing store in North Street, officially closed it’s doors on Wednesday at 5.30pm after a battle to stay open.
Branch manager Suzanne Miller held a fashion show last September with the autumn collection, to raise awareness of the brand in a bid to boost sales and show head office the store is much loved.
Since its launch in 2002, Pure Collection has become one of the largest direct and online retailers of cashmere in the world but the Chichester store was told it would close on January 22.
A statement by the chief executive was read out at the fashion show. It read: “Negotiations with the landlord are still ongoing. Our decision to close could still be subject to review. It is very much down to the landlord at the moment.”
Suzanne, however is now on a mission to help save the city centre from more shop closures and says she has been overwhelmed by
She said: “People need to wake up and see the haemorrhaging of businesses going out the high street.
“I’m happy to start or support an action group or a petition to support businesses and get them together to meet the council and say ‘you’ve got to wake up’.
“All our customers who have learnt we are closing over the past couple of weeks have all been in, not to buy but to wish us well and ask us where they are going to shop.
“The pavements in the street are also an issue. One lady phoned me last week because she is actually on crutches because she broke her leg by falling in the street. She was frightened if she came in to the city on crutches she would fall back over again.”
Suzanne said there has to be a concern for retail in the city and other businesses have to be attracted to come to Chichester.
“It’s no good the district council putting up car parking rates if people have nothing to come in and visit,” added Suzanne.
“We are a cathedral city, we have a lot of history, a fantastic theatre and yet we have a high street which is dying.”
Suzanne said West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council and Chichester City Council should all come together to find a solution and fix the high street.
Suzanne is looking for other businesses who want to join an action group or a petition. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org