Changes on the High Street

The impact of Covid-19 on consumer retail sectors has seen the largest annual fall on record with clothing sales seeing the largest falls.   The impact on this is already being seen in Henley this week with clothing and shoe stores announcing they are closing.  There are though some positive news with new shops opening and others moving to bigger premises.  Henley still has one of the lowest non-occupancy shop rates in the UK.

After 10 years of trading Estilo, the ladies wear shop on Duke Street is closing on Saturday 19 June as their lease has expired and building has been sold.  Marion Crocker who has run Estilo said, “It has been the best experience for me to complete my long retail career in beautiful shop premises with fabulous people. I am planning to continue Estilo online, on Facebook and Instagram.  My team and I would like to thank our customers for their friendship, loyalty, kindness and support throughout our time in Henley.  It has been amazing.”  A new children’s clothes shop will open in this retail unit soon.

Daisy’s Boutique in Friday Street has closed and Manzana shoe shop on Bell Street is also closing at the end of June.  They have a closing down sale with 50% off ladies shoes, boots, sandals and children’s shoes.  To book a child’s fitting appointment before they close call 01491 574500. Owner Denise posted on Facebook, “Thank you for your continued custom over the years. Do pop in to say farewell. We will miss you from  Denise, Gary & The Manzana Team.

Esquires barbers closed on Saturday (29 May 2021). This is due to a combination of things including lockdown and ladies becoming skilled at cutting their partner’s/husband’s/children’s hair!  They said, “We have really enjoyed our time in Henley and would like to thank all our clients for their support over the years. Thank you!”

Naughty Mutt Nice are moving from Station Road to a new shop on the Reading Road (formerly In the Groove Records).  They will open in the new shop on Saturday 10 July.  Owner Karole Robertson said, “We have been looking for a larger shop for quite a long time and this one came up.  It is much larger which will mean we will have three defined areas, washing, grooming and a much larger retail area for doggie products.  Plus there will be a much bigger staff area.”
A new cafe is due to open on the corner of Station Road in both the former Sparks jewellery shop and Henley Barbers unit.  We also understand that there will new cafe opening in the old Tubbies cafe at the train station soon too.
New News newsagent on the Reading Road has closed and has reopened as Henley Wines with a new owner.  The new shop has been completely refitted and will no longer sell newspapers but has a vast range of wines, spirits, soft drinks plus confectionery and snacks.
Artist Sarah Pye is opening a new art gallery and a picture framing business; Artistry on Reading Road (former Island Massage).  She will be selling her own beautiful nature paintings as well as other artists’ works which will include sculptors and jewellery makers.  The shop will be opening on Friday 4 June.
A planning application has been submitted for Pavilion Foods Delicatessen & Cookery School for the former Feather & Black shop in Market Place.  The application states that the shop will offer a high-end quality food retail environment to include hot food takeaway and a cookery school which will provide private-hire classes.  “We believe that the integration of the cookery school into the delicatessen on the high street will open up new opportunities for people to engage with these spaces and complement the neighbourhood plan’s intentions to encourage mixed-use developments with a wider mix of shops in the town centre.”  The application was considered by the Planning Committee of Henley Town Council who recommended refusal of their proposed shopfront on the grounds that the proposal does not comply with SODC Shopfront Design Guide due to the illumination, proposed awning and the sign not being made of wood.
1 comment
  1. Peter crook says:

    Very sad indeed but shops close and open all the time but high rents do not help. I was very lucky I had two local landlords when I had my shops and they understood Henley. It was once said to me it would be easier to open a shop on the moon to make money! Even some of the big names could not survive.
    Some people get totally the wrong idea of Henley and I guess Marlow and other small market towns are much the same. Plus a lot of Henley people are savvy and shop up in London and online plus know how to look after their money. It was once said, not sure how true, but Tesco sold more value products per person in Henley than anywhere else in England.

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