Town loses two more independent traders

TWO of Harborough town centre’s most familiar independent names are set to close in the new year.

The Midland Army and Navy store in Adam and Eve Street is to shut up shop after more than 50 years.

And Walkers Bookshop, in St Mary’s Place, is also set to close in January with the loss of eight jobs.

Keith Castle, who has managed the Army and Navy store for 22 years, said the shop would be closed by the end of January after the elderly owner of the unit decided to lease it out rather than continue the business.

Originally located next door to the present shop at number 14 and called Adam and Eve Supplies, the shop opened in 1958.

It later moved to number 16 and, apart from a brief period in the 1990s, has remained under the same ownership, selling outdoor clothing, workwear and uniforms as well as offering an engraving service.

Mr Castle told the Mail: “We’ve got a closing down sale at the moment and once the stock goes that will be it. It’s a real shame.”

Walkers Bookshop opened in 2000 but is to close in mid-January after rent re-negotiations with the new owners of St Mary’s Place broke down.

The shopping precinct was bought by RREEF, an arm of Deutsche Bank, for £18.7m earlier this year and Walkers owner Tim Walker said the rent wanted by the firm was too high to make the business pay.

He said: “It’s heartbreaking. The staff have worked tremendously hard and the fact that we’re closing is no reflection on them.”

The Mail spoke to Alison Taylor of RREEF, who said the firm does not comment on rent negotiations.