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Final chapter for bookshop unless new tenant is found
THE owner of a West Oxfordshire bookshop has warned it will close unless an offer is made to take it over.
Geoffrey Walton rents Evenlode Books in Charlbury to Jon Carpenter, who has announced he will be retiring in the new year.
Professor Walton, 74, has said that unless a new tenant is found to continue running the bookshop it will shut down.
In a statement he said: “The availability of a bookshop here has been an important feature in many people’s lives and, internet purchases, though extremely important, do not enter into the fabric of Charlbury life in the same way.”
Mr Walton said he was happy to accept any individual or group of people who wanted to continue running a bookshop.
But he added: “If nothing changes within the next month I am willing to consider reasonable offers to take on the tenancy of the shop, with or without a supporting business, provided that the shop is likely to be of benefit to the locality.”
He said that if no “suitable” offer was made, his company Dustscan will move into the empty space.
Sue Radbourne, who works for the business, said: “We are in old buildings and don’t have much space and it would be the natural next move for us to move into the bookshop.”
But she added: “It’s a shame all these small side shops are becoming a thing of the past. The bookshop is the perfect thing, but it can’t survive as it is not getting enough income.”
Mr Carpenter, who has run the shop since April 2000, said he was disappointed no one had taken on the shop. He said: “No one has expressed an interest in taking it on. But shops are selling fewer and fewer books and making less and less money and so are not commercially viable.
“I will be disappointed to see it go and I don’t want to see it left empty as it was very important to many people in the town.”
He said he could not compete with the pricing of internet giants such as Amazon.
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