Chelmsford PC store claims new shopping complex wants ‘chain stores next to John Lewis instead of indies’

PC retailer Computer World has claimed it has been forced to close its Bond Street shop in Chelmsford due to a ‘misleading’ contract with the developers of a £120 million shopping complex.

Situated next to a new John Lewis development, Gary Pollington said he renewed his store’s lease in March 2015 for two years, but has now been handed a six months’ notice by developers Aquila.

"We had a lease which was due to expire in March 2017, which would have meant that in real terms, we would have enjoyed about six months of the new development,” said Pollington.

"Reading between the lines, I can only assume that they want other businesses in the buildings, probably chain stores, and that is why they have done what they have done.”

The independent retailer took to Facebook to say:

“We have put up with low foot fall during the development and planned to make that back once we had 6 months of trading with the development open. Sadly this will not happen and [we] feel that we have been used.

Chelmsford is a faceless city with a lack of local businesses and is full of big names selling the same thing in Chelmsford as they do in every other town or city.

This town needs small business to provide variation and choice. Without them why would visitors come to the shops as they will get exactly the same elsewhere.

We have been trading in Chelmsford for 20 years.

Luckily have another shop so will still carry on trading @ the Buddow road show.”

Construction work for the new 300,000 sq ft shopping centre meant the Bond Street car park closed to the public in January 2015. The complex is expected to open in autumn 2016.

Main image via Essex Chronicle.

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