Stamford town centre set for change

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STAMFORD is going through a period of change as some businesses look to move into town while others are facing an uncertain future.

Hair salon Browns and The Beauty Manor, which will offer beauty treatments, are moving into Red Lion Square, with an opening date set for September 1.

Browns will be on the ground floor in the former V clothing store, while The Beauty Manor will be on the first floor.

Temptations Coffee Shop, currently on the first floor, will close tomorrow.

Architects firm Harris McCormack has taken over the ground floor of 3 Wellington Lane from mother and baby store Mummy and Me, which has closed.

Menswear store Ibson has closed after owner Chris Huggett was served with a High Court writ.

A note was displayed in the shop window this week directing customers to bailiffs Martson Group.

Mr Huggett was not available to comment.

Carpetright, which has a store in the Markham Retail Park, has announced plans to close a number of stores around the UK.

Profits are down and it will review the leases on 94 stores in the next five years.

The company would not confirm when the lease on the Stamford store runs out.

Chocolatier Thorntons, which will close 120 of its stores in three years, has not yet confirmed if the Stamford branch will stay.

The company intends to sell more through other retailers and online. It already sells a range of its wares at Walker’s Bookshops in Oakham and Bourne.

Focus DIY in the Markham Retail Park, off Ryhall Road, is closing down and will be replaced by Sainsbury’s.

The Focus closing down sale will continue until all stock is sold. No date has been set for closure.

Bourne-based North Shoes will move in to Red Lion Square next door to Browns later this month.

Family firm Browns has been running for 31 years and the Stamford salon will be its sixth. There will be five stylists, two assistants and a receptionist. Some of those posts are still vacant.

Meanwhile, The Beauty Manor will have three therapists.

The two companies work in conjunction in Market Harborough and are looking forward to enjoying the same partnership in Stamford.

Browns director Harry Brown Jnr said: “We have been looking for a good location in Stamford for a while now and this was a really good opportunity. We are really excited about coming to Stamford.”

Harris McCormack was set up in April by Simon Harris and William McCormack and already occupies the first floor of 3 Wellington Street. It is expanding after architect Simon Bates joined the firm two weeks ago.

Co-director Mr Harris said: “We are hoping to move into the new rooms in a couple of weeks, once we have tidied up the interior.”

Temptations has been open for about 11 years. Browns bought the lease after it expired in November, but owner Teresa Rushton wants to reopen in a new location.

She said: “We have a lot of loyal customers who have been coming here since we opened, even through the recession. I want to thank them for supporting me and I will be back.

“It’s important for Stamford to have independent businesses because we offer something different to the chains.”

The shop’s three part-time staff are looking for new jobs.

Stamford’s town centre was said to be prosperous by leading retail investor Lord Matthew Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, on Radio 4 this week.