A HEREFORD business is looking for a new shop, after it revealed it will be leaving its current site.

Duncan Cooper of the Children's Bookshelf, which currently has a shop in Gomond Street, said the business was getting enough footfall in its current location, with people put off shopping in Hereford because of parking costs and the various empty retail units.

The Children's Bookshelf is a children's bookshop that hosts primary school visits, is a home for the local Pokemon game community and a "safe space" for adults and children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

As well as selling kids' books and working to encourage reading in school children, it aims to support children's mental health by teaching about feelings and emotions.

Hereford Times: Duncan Cooper at the Children's BookshelfDuncan Cooper at the Children's Bookshelf (Image: Rob Davies)

Mr Cooper said: "Since Wilko's left Maylord Orchards, there's nothing here. We do pull some people in but not enough. Visitors have gone down drastically this year after Covid and in the cost of living crisis."

The shop even faced a huge obstacle on World Book Day 2023, when an electrical fire in Gomond Street forced it to close on the busiest day of the year.

He explained that the shop is looking to move somewhere else where it may get more customers walking through the doors.

Regular customers, especially "neurodiverse clientele", are upset about losing the Gomond Street shop, Mr Cooper said.

But the current shop has a remaining three months on the lease, so the business still has some time to find somewhere to move to.

The Children's Bookshelf is searching for somewhere that has its own parking so that this expense will not be a problem for customers. It will also need enough space for a school minibus to allow schools to continue bringing children to the shop on trips.


Anybody who has any ideas for a site that may fit the Children's Bookshelf's requirements should contact thechildrensbookshelf@gmail.com.

The shop continues to trade online via its website, which Mr Cooper and his wife Annette are "frantically building".

They are also trialling a system where primary schools can put in large orders for children's books in an online pop-up book sale.