A HEREFORD shop has been forced to close down as it struggled with poor footfall.

Munchkins Baby Gifts in Capuchin Yard, off the picturesque Church Street, has closed its doors for the final time after three years, owner Karen Rogers said.

She said it was a "very sad time" with the unit almost empty and the remaining products being sold on local car boot sites.

"I can't thank my fantastic loyal customers enough for the past three years, I have loved making gifts and surprising so many new mums and mums to be, always such amazing feedback and returning custom," she said.


"A huge thank you to all my friends who constantly shared my [Facebook] page and offers etc. I am truly blessed.

"And of course my family for helping so much and supporting me."

As for the reasons behind the closure, Ms Rogers said the main fact was the location was poor and people struggled to find the shop, tucked away in a yard off Church Street, in the shadow of Hereford Cathedral.

She said more natural footfall was needed and had looked at Maylord Shopping Centre, but the "rent would never be possible".

"No offers to encourage new small businesses to get going, it's such a shame," she said.

"We definitely need a baby children's shop more central. I stepped in to help my friend's care agency during lockdown for 12 months and that was subsidising the shop which isn't how it should be."


Herefordshire Council recently bought back Maylord Shopping Centre as part of a multimillion-pound deal, and ahead of a scrutiny meeting in September, said nine previously empty units had been let.

The report by Coun Gemma Davies, cabinet member commissioning, procurement and assets, said: "With regards to the financial performance of the Maylord Orchards Centre in this challenging time, the council has sought to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.

"We have been successful in letting nine previously vacant units and five tenants have renewed leases.

"This includes support for new businesses to become established in the city centre, diversifying the retail offer and creating new employment opportunities."

The report also said that in terms of future development, as per the council's original intention, the "strategically significant" site would be redeveloped to support the regeneration of the city centre as a whole.

"The redevelopment of the centre will create a range of cultural, skills, and employment support services at the heart of the city.

"This will establish a new mixed-use focus, creating new social value reasons for people to visit, learn and work in Hereford as retail declines in line with the national trend as a primary footfall driver."

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