Welwyn Garden City bookshop owner ‘desperately sad’ after closure announced

PUBLISHED: 13:33 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 February 2014

Tony Maher with business partner John Barlow after launching The Bookshop in 2011

Tony Maher with business partner John Barlow after launching The Bookshop in 2011

Archant

The owner of a Welwyn Garden City bookshop has said he is “desperately sad” after announcing the store would close.

Tony Maher, director of The Bookshop in the Howard Centre, said the decision was made as the lease is coming to an end next month.

Mr Maher has a long career running book stores in the town, having run Maher The Bookseller in the centre for 16 years before the current venture.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I feel desperately sad, we’ve had a presence in the town for a long time, and we’ve been really well supported by the people in the town – and I mean really well supported.

“But it’s not working as an outlet.”

It is expected that the store will close for the last time in the first or second week of March.

The 2,000 square foot store was launched in 2011.

It was half the size of the original store, and was set up to offer a different range of discount books.

He said: “The lease runs out on March 14, and the sales weren’t at a level we wanted.

“It’s a shame, but it’s the gamble you take with retail.”

It currently employs five members of staff.

In the meantime, the store is holding a closing down sale with large discounts on remaining stock.

Mr Maher said there is still a future for bookshops, but said they face challenges.

“It’s difficult for bookshops in smaller towns to survive with the overheads and pressure from other media,” he stated.


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