A Fylde shopkeeper has put his business up for sale for just 100 pence and fired a savage parting shot at the trading conditions which have played a part in the decision.
Andy Cunningham has run St Annes Sports in St Andrews Road South for the last eight years with wife Kathy - and an illness which has left Kathy unable to work for some time is the prime reason in the decision to sell up.
But Andy also cites a recent slump in business which he puts down to ‘the continued poor quality of the St Annes shopping experience’ and after having the shop on the market for 18 months with no takers at the original asking price of £20,000, has decided enough is enough.
“If they are willing to take over the lease, they can have the shop and any stock that is left for £1 - I just want rid,” said Andy, a sports therapy specialist who is principal lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire.
The couple took over the established business in 2008 and Andy said trading conditions were steady for seven years but have recently been ‘very difficult’.
“It is unclear why this has happened other than the continued poor quality of the St Annes shopping experience,” he said.
“There are some great shops and retailers but too many charity shops and parking restrictions - and there is also the unwillingness of the council to promote small, independent shops through better signage, especially at this end of town.
”This together with of course the rise and domination of internet retailing has made trading conditions difficult.”
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It is disappointing that another business has fallen to recent difficulttrading conditions. The whole retail market has changed dramatically in the last five years but generally we feel our town centre is coping very well.
““More money is to be spent on that part of town by Fylde Council but sadly too late for some.”
“We hope the improvement work will be completed this year,” he said.
St Annes Sports is for sale for £1 through commercial estate agents Hilton Smythe, who describe it as a profitable business which has increased turnover year on year and says turnover could be increased further in its specialist field.Call (01204) 299139.