Hunts shops closure ‘no cause for gloom’

HUNTINGDON town centre is set to lose two shops after closing time on Saturday – but their loss is not seen as a significant blow to the retail scene.

Thorntons, the chocolatier, and Curry’s, the electrical retailer, will close down this weekend.

Town centre manager Katy Sismore said Thornton’s retail formula had not worked in Huntingdon, and she had seen the Curry’s move coming for some time.

“It’s a very small store and was not included in the recent re-branding,” she told The Hunts Post.

But, seen against the wider background of the development of Huntingdon West around a new, larger Sainsbury’s store, developer Churchmanor’s re-vamp proposals for Chequers Court and the Government’s announcement earlier this month of an enterprise zone at Alconbury Airfield, the loss of the two shops was not a great blow for the town.

“We are in a changing market. If we didn’t have the Sainsbury’s development, the Chequers Court proposals and the EZ, I might be really down. But there’s so much happening that it will inevitably attract other retailers.”

As far as small outlets are concerned, a noodle bar is expected to open in the former Flower Patch premises, and Mrs Sismore believes a new tenant has been found for the former Francis Wain shop further along the High Street.

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She has also been talking to Marks and Spencer about a possible return to the town, she said.