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Bad news for city shops
IT is a case of bad news for the city’s Good News newsagents after the owner revealed he was shutting after 30 years.
Rob Harding, aged 50, who runs both branches of Good News in The Foregate and on The Cross in Worcester city centre, said it was “no longer viable” to run the shops.
A notice went up at both stores over the weekend thanking customers.
But giving his reasons for shutting up shop, the man who jokingly refers to himself as ‘Worcester’s Oldest Paperboy’ said: “A number of little things build up and suddenly you think ‘why am I doing this?’”
As he packed away a generation of memories into boxes at the rear of the shop in Foregate Street, yesterday, Mr Harding said it was no longer worth “the time, the effort and the slog” to keep the business going. “Tomorrow I shall be signing on – that’s something new for me.”
Mr Harding has been in retailing since he was a youngster, helping run the old shop which was at 32 The Shambles .
About 20 years ago he closed that store, and took on the other two which he ran with his mother Verene, or ‘Mrs H’ to all who know her.
“It’s down to trading conditions, and we have battled other things for 18 months – my wife had cancer,” he said.
“We’ve battled to keep the staff in the job, and if it wasn’t for them we’d have probably gone before. But the margins of our core products have become tighter – and fundamentally there’s just not enough money in the business.”
He said he plans to return to his native Walsall in the Black Country. “We haven’t even told the landlord yet, but we’ve been good tenants for all these years,” he said. “I won’t be going back into retail.”
Even as Mr Harding was still packing yesterday, customers outside the store expressed sadness at the demise of another familiar store, just weeks after crockery wholesalers G R Pratley’s disappeared from The Shambles.