Menswear shop the latest to go
A LONG-ESTABLISHED independent retailer is preparing to close its doors after 30 years of trading in Exeter.
In another illustration of the tough climate facing Britain's retailers, Fore Street menswear store Cody will serve its last customers by the end of this month.
It comes as uncertainty surrounds the long-term future of three shops in the city belonging to national chains, after Republic, Blockbuster and HMV went into administration.
Nick Wild, manager at Cody's Exeter store, said its impending closure was prompted by increased competition from online retailers, the economic climate and founder Peter Terrell's decision to retire.
BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC 1.0 ECOBOOST FOR ONLY £7685*View details
DRIVE AWAY A BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC FOR ONLY £7685.
1.0 100PS Manual
Electric Windows & Mirrors
Quickclear Heated Windscreen
15" Alloy Wheels
Bluetooth with Ford Sync
*Drive away from only £7685 and then pay nothing for 24 months!
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"There're a lot of factors," he said. "It's the quietest we have ever been in my 14 years here.
"It's been a gradual decline in trade. We have always had brands that have been exclusive to us, but things have changed now and with the internet nothing is exclusive. I have a feeling we won't be the last people to close down this year."
Founded in 1976 in Plymouth, Cody expanded into Exeter in the early 1980s, originally in the Guildhall Shopping Centre. The shop moved to the Harlequin Centre before settling in Fore Street for the past 14 years.
Elsewhere, 38 staff at the High Street branch of Republic are waiting for news after the youth fashion retailer collapsed into administration last week.
Administrators of DVD rental chain Blockbuster have announced plans to close 164 stores – including one of the company's branches in Exeter.
It is believed five staff at the shop in Fore Street, Heavitree, are facing redundancy, though no closing date has yet been set.
Branches in Cowick Street, Exmouth and Newton Abbot are not among those earmarked for closure.
The Princesshay branch of HMV continues to trade while administrators seek a buyer for the company. Earlier this month, 60 redundancies were made across HMV's head office network as a result of the decision to close 66 stores.
Exeter city centre manager John Harvey said: "We are not immune from the national economic challenges, but in difficult times Exeter is better equipped than many other locations within the region.
"Any retail closure is important but Fore Street is more vibrant than it has been for some time and I'm confident that unit will not remain vacant for long."