AN EVESHAM shop owner who has been trading for more than a decade is concerned over the future of his craft business after learning a major competitor will be opening its doors just yards away.
Adam Spiers, owner of Cotswold Needle Craft, has been trading in the town for 16 years – with 14 years being at The Valley.
But after hearing from the retail complex’s management last Friday (March 17) that major retail outlet Crafter’s Companion is set to move onsite, he is uncertain if his business will survive.
Following the recent announcement of Millets Farm Shop closing in April, after eight years at The Valley, the multi-million pound craft business is set to move into the unit, which is opposite Cotswold Needle Craft, and is expected to open in July.
Crafter’s Companion was founded in 2005 by Sara Davies MBE and manufactures and sells craft products via its website, TV shopping channels, independent retailers and its own retail stores.
The store at The Valley will be the company’s third retail outlet, following units in Newton Aycliffe and Chesterfield.
Mr Spiers told the Observer he felt ‘let down’ as he had no knowledge the craft store would be moving into the complex, until he received the confirmation email last Friday.
“Over the past 16 years we’ve grown as a business, but now I’m uncertain of our future. This could bankrupt us,” said Mr Spiers.
“When I found out I was in a state of shock. Crafter’s Companion are a direct competitor and will inevitable have a detrimental impact on our business.
“It breaks my heart. I feel my whole livelihood and future is falling around me. I can’t even reassure my staff on what will happen to the business as I have no idea myself.
“Our costumers have been fantastic though and we will fight to stay here.
“Whatever happens, we won’t just let the big boys muscle their way in.”
A spokesperson for The Valley said: “Millets Farm Shop announced their intention to close in April after eight years at The Valley to focus on their farm and other business interests in Oxfordshire.
“We will be sorry to see them go but we’re pleased to confirm that Crafters Companion have agreed to replace them. They plan to open their new store in July subject to planning.
“We value all our retailers at The Valley and will continue to support them to ensure future prosperity.”