SNP - Tom Wills

Two town shops to close

TWO Lerwick town centre shops are to close at Christmas as changed shopping habits are making them unsustainable.

John Coutts, owner of the long established Dennis Coutts Photographers, at 161 Commercial Street, and Darren Silver of the relatively recently opened DW Silver Antiques and Interiors, at 67 Commercial Street, both confirmed that their shops would be closing their doors on 24 December.

Coutts said that since the arrival of digital photography his business had changed dramatically and he no longer could afford to run a shop.

“There has been a slow but steady decline in the work we do, particularly in wedding and studio photography, and the shop is now far too big for the amount of work I do.”

He said he had to “refocus” from running a shop to operating via a website like most professional photographers do.

“I can still make a living but I don’t need a shop to do that,” he said.

Coutts is now planning to put the premises on the market in the hope to find a buyer.

Meanwhile, at the other end of ‘Da Street’, antiques dealer Darren Silver is also throwing in the towel.

The shop at the corner with Church Road only opened in July last year.

In a message distributed via the shop’s Facebook site, Silver said the lack of footfall on Commercial Street made having town centre premises “unrealistic”.

He said: “We are so sorry to say that we are joining an ever growing list of businesses in the town, whose location and premises is simply too grand and expensive for the level of trade the town is experiencing.”

He added: “Worry not though; we shall be honouring all of our current commitments with regards to commissioned sales and of cabinets etc.”

Updates as to the company’s future plans are expected to be posted on its Facebook site in due course.

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