End of an Era
Well the time has come to move on. It's not with sadness but excitement that Bibleot Bee has moved to a new location for our bricks and mortar shop.
We opened with eager anticipation at 59 Newborough, Scarborough on 7 November 2015. When we signed up for the shop the concrete shopping block in which we are situated, called an "eye sore" by many, was fully occupied: Argos, Arrow Models, One-Stop, E-Cig, First Light drop in centre and a coffee shop. Since then they have all left.
The first death knell bell rang when our landlord sold, and the new landlord sent agents to tell us they were going to develop the whole site. They said they had to tell us as it would be all over the papers that week, and it was. Plan A was to make the block into a cinema complex with food outlets. No retail. Plan B would be to make the block into flats so again NO RETAIL. They told us we should start to look for new premises, and as an incentive to give up our lease early, they would help with relocation, legal and set up costs. So we started looking. Some of our neighbours moved out and others started looking for alternative homes too.
Due to the press coverage our customers thought we were closing and we even had a visit from the Project Manager for Benchmark. He was managing the cinema development at the North Bay. Not that he announced who he was but instead tried to pick our brains about what was happening with our building. So we let our landlords know about the visit but they had no update and when we said we had found alternative premises they denied they wanted to help us move out.
It now transpired that the food outlets they had hoped for were not playing ball and without the big names such as Nandos, Byron Burgers, TGIFriday etc the Cinema would not be viable. Brexit was blamed. It became clear the development of the Newborough site was becoming a distant dream.
By the Summer of 2017, Argos was moving out and into Sainsbury's a national strategy that impacted on our block. We talked with the landlord's Agents to ask what was happening. They admitted they had not really marketed the Argos shop nor fully invested in marketing the other empty shops around us. We pointed out the impact of empty shops all around us and the much-reduced footfall. They knew we could leave our lease the following year or if not would be committed to another three years tenancy and so offered a discounted rent provided we did not give up our tenancy. The offer was also subject to the rent increasing again as they anticipated filling the empty units with new shops. They said they would be soon starting work on 'white walling the units' ready for the 2018 summer season.
No work started, and we did give up our lease. We were even told signs would be going up advertising the unit which the local agent kindly wanted to delay as clearly this would further damage our trade. Thankfully the signs never went up and we are glad we gave notice as we believe, a guess based on hearsay not direct communications, the whole property is on the market or indeed has been sold. It may even have a new owner, but we don't know, we have not been told.
Our loyal customers have found us despite all the uncertainty and we hope they will continue to visit us in our new home, our new HIVE at 132 Victoria Road. It is a store within a store, so we won't be alone and can be open even more hours from 8:30am to 5:30pm and open Sundays 10:00am till 4:00pm. The parking is easier, and we have the room to fully display our rugs.
We are in the process of our move, but most things have made the journey up to our new home in Clock Handyman, 132 Victoria Road, Scarborough, or Clock's as we call it. It's our family business so we are going back home. Hope to see you up there where a warm welcome will await you.
Buzzing off for now.