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Home furnishing shop has designs on quitting city

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Suzie Watson Designs on Green Street closing down . Picture: Keith Heppell
Suzie Watson Designs on Green Street closing down . Picture: Keith Heppell

Another shop in the heart of Cambridge is set to close its doors for good.

Susie Watson Designs in Green Street is expected to relocate to Saffron Walden, citing an increase in its rent as one of the reasons for its departure.

It follows a similar decision by independent The Cambridge Toy Shop, which will shut its doors in Sussex Street later this month after also being asked to pay a major rise in rent by its landlord, Sidney Sussex College.

Susie Watson Designs sells handmade furnishings for the home, including pottery, cushions, bed and table linen, candles, glassware and fabric by the metre.

The Cambridge shop - which employs only a manager after her assistant left - is one of seven branches in the south of England: the others are in Chichester, West Sussex; Tunbridge Wells, Kent; Marlborough, Wiltshire; Marlow, Bucks; Alresford, Hampshire; and Salcombe in Devon.

The company was formed in 2008. It opened its branch in Cambridge just over two years ago.

A spokesperson for the business said:"We are relocating, probably to Saffron Walden. High rent and lack of footfall ?make a tricky combination. It has ?been disappointing."

The firm says it is too early to say when it will leave its Green Street shop, but it is understood staff will be given three months' notice.

The company is waiting for the lease to be reassigned.

Vivienne Watson, owner of The Cambridge Toy Shop, claimed one of the reasons behind her decision to close was that shoppers have steered clear of coming into the centre of the city because of high parking charges.

It is unclear what shop will replace Susie Watson Designs. A men's clothing store is set to replace the toy shop when its premises become vacant.

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