Sadness at loss of high street store

Bliss in Brackley is closing down.'120926M-E186
Bliss in Brackley is closing down.'120926M-E186

As Brackley mourns the loss of another high street trader a business leader is calling for greater openness from the local authority.

After Wendy Chaplin owner of the Bliss ladies fashion store in Market Place announced her final day of trading last Friday, there was a flurry of messages on social networking sites wishing her, and her staff luck in the future.

Jan Dean, chairman of Brackley Means Business said as South Northants Council and Brackley Town Council continue to negotiate with developers over their contributions to local infrastructure behind closed doors, retailers are left in the dark, making it more difficult to plan for their futures.

Mrs Dean added: “The rumour is the town council may be able to use the money, because something’s changing at SNC and the town council will get more control and the town council want to employ someone, but they need to tell us their plans, so we can plan accordingly.”

Brackley Mayor Chris Cartmell said retailers could not rely on funding from the outside in the short term, but for the last two years the district council has been supporting struggling businesses through various business rate reductions.

Mr Cartmell added: “It seems to me the big killer is rent. I think the landlords need to realise, if the rent is too high they will kill the goose that’s laying their monthly golden egg. We’re all very sad to see another business close, it just proves how hard it is.”