Letchworth shopkeeper cites ‘lack of footfall’ for shutting up shop

Dale Gaffney owner of Times Past in Letchworth which is closing down.

Dale Gaffney owner of Times Past in Letchworth which is closing down. - Credit: Archant

A shopkeeper says a “lack of footfall” in a town centre has caused him to permanently close his store.

Dale Gaffney owner of Times Past in Letchworth GC which is closing down.

Dale Gaffney owner of Times Past in Letchworth GC which is closing down. - Credit: Archant

Antique furniture and gift shop Times Past in Leys Avenue, Letchworth GC, will open its doors for the last time tomorrow.

Owner Dale Gaffney, 54, said trade was initially good when they moved to the town seven years ago but the recession, a lack of adequate parking and the introduction of the one-way system on Leys Avenue in 2010 have all contributed to a lack of custom.

He said: “I am closing the business this weekend because I can no longer viably run it due to a lack of footfall in the town.

“I would love to carry on but everything has changed now. Shops aren’t really needed anymore because it’s all moved on to the internet. I now plan on creating an import business, with the same name, to bring in furniture and giftware and sell it online.”


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Times Past opened in Buntingford in 1996 and Mr Gaffney ran the business with his partner Adrian Piggott, 51, until he retired in March.

Letchworth GC town centre manager Lee Boswell said: “It won’t be the same in town without Dale and Adrian. They are great guys and we will all miss them. They have worked so hard in building their business and we wish them all the best with their new venture.”

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The shop is open today (Friday) between 10am-4pm and tomorrow (Saturday) from 9am until 5pm and all stock will be half price. For more information visit www.timespastshop.com

? A Loungers cafe and restaurant is set to be built in Leys Avenue, replacing a premises which became vacant in 2011 following the relocation of Argos to Garden Square Shopping Centre, once the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation has signed a lease agreement.

There are also early talks to bring a Premier Inn hotel to Station Road in Letchworth GC, the Heritage Foundation has confirmed.

Supermarket chain Iceland told the Comet it is set to open a second store in the town alongside its base in Garden Square, with a shop in Plinston Retail Park due to open on July 22.

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