A SHOPKEEPER, who is being forced out of her town centre store, is saying a sad farewell to her customers.
Julie Hay, who owns Julie-Anne’s Shoe Boutique, in Buttermarket, said the rent on the building had increased by £3,500, which she cannot afford.
The store is a successful, independent shoe shop which Julie has run since taking over from the previous owners.
She said: “It is a real kick in the teeth and I have told the landlord I will be out by October. I’m paid up until then but after that I will be gone.
Julie lives in Watermead in Aylesbury and worked at the shoe shop before she ran it.
“It is such a shame. When I leave we will have been here two-and-a-half years.
“People are really supportive. I never expected such a response from the public.
“I will miss the loyal customers who were always so good to us.”
Julie said the whole experience has left a sour taste and she will not be looking to reopen elsewhere.
“I don’t think I will be starting up somewhere else because the same thing (a rent increase) might happen again and I don’t think I could take that.
“It was such a hard slog. We were starting to build up a good reputation and relationship and now we are expected to pay more.
“I am upset because this is my first business and having spent nearly three years building it from the bottom up, only to have it all dashed, is a real slap in the face.
“It is almost enough to make me wish I hadn’t bothered and had saved myself a lot of time and effort.
“It is definite. We will cease trading in the middle of October.”