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Antiques centre in Clare urges town to shop locally to help business thrive

An antiques warehouse in Clare, which has been trading in the town for three decades, is urging customers to continue supporting the business to ensure it remains viable in the future.

As part of efforts to generate more income, a section of Clare Antiques and Interiors has been turned into three flats, with work expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

The new homes will provide Airbnb-style accommodation, which could help to boost tourism in the town, while providing a cash injection to offset increasing business rates.

Despite the centre having remained open during the conversion, staff have expressed concerns over a drop-off in footfall.

“Due to the building work, it’s not very attractive, so I think that has put people off a little,” said Loraine Callow, a member of the management team.

With tougher trading conditions continuing to mount, Mrs Callow hopes customers will make a more conscious decision to shop locally.

Highlighting the benefits of shopping on the high street, she said the business prided itself on providing a customer-oriented approach.

“It’s a lot more personal and the key is that it’s customer-friendly,” said Mrs Callow. “I try to encourage my team to go above and beyond what’s expected.

Set over four floors in Malting Lane, the centre showcases a vast collection of goods, ranging from antiques, furniture, clothes and books, with a café located on the ground floor.

A designated seating area enables customers to delve into an extensive choice of books.

Having worked in the fashion and interior design industry for 20 years, Mrs Callow,from Hundon, said the role enabled her to combine both of her passions.

“I love it and I do everything I can to make the customer happy,” she said. “I get a lot of pleasure from doing that.”

The centre is opening from 9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

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