A new chain greetings card shop in the historic heart of a Herefordshire town is set to open shortly.

But the new Card Factory on Leominster’s High Street, within the town's conservation area, has prompted fears that it will impact on nearby independent shops.

The Yorkshire-based greetings card seller, which has over 1,000 UK branches, applied last June to revamp the former Shoe Zone shop, which had been empty for over a year.


Among five objections lodged by locals, one nearby shopkeeper said “I fear this will be the death of my business.”

Another said towns such as Leominster “draw visitors because they DON'T have chain stores down their high streets, but lovely independent shops instead”.


Planning officer Jack Dyer ruled in September that any potential impact on existing businesses was “not a material planning consideration” when assessing plans for the shop.

And though the main sign’s proposed blue and yellow would make “little difference materially” to what was there already, the “more muted” dark grey treatment of the surrounding woodwork would “somewhat improve the shopfront”, he concluded.

This work has now been completed, and workmen have this week been seen revamping the interior.