A new sign of tough conditions for Harrogate's high street shops has come with the prospect of two more vacant prime retail properties in the town centre.
At the same time as Farrow & Ball, the upmarket supplier of handcrafted wallpaper and own-brand paint, is preparing to move location from 1 James Street, global women’s fashion retailer East at 18 James Street has signs up in its window announcing “store closing, all stock reduced, everything must go.”
It should come as no surprise to fans of the brand after it was announced on January 31 that the women's fashion retailer founded in 1994 had gone into administration citing higher costs on the high street and rising wages.
Farrow & Ball is set to close next Thursday, Febriary 22 before reopening on Monday, February 26 in its brand new showroom at 18-21 Albert Street, the short-lived former home of Brindleys interior design shop.
The latest developments follow news of the closure in Harrogate of fellow big name fashion retailers, H&M and Topshop, both located in the town centre on Cambridge Street.
Coun Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, recently hit back at concern that the retailers’ decisions were the result of ‘sky high’ business rates and parking charges saying that business rates were, in fact, set by the Valuation Office Agency - an independent body.
The council collects them on behalf of the government but have no say in how much they are.”
He also added that after, a national revaluation of business rates earlier this year, the council had also used government funding to help those local businesses which had seen an increase in their business rates.