A pop-up designer clothing shop has closed its doors in Ely.
The Gun Hill clothing discount store for both men and women was opened inside the former Millets premises, in Market Place, by Nick Fryer, in April.
Mr Fryer, who has Gun Hill shops in Burnham Market, Saffron Walden, Holt and Southwold, opened the pop-up shop subject to a three-month lease, which came to an end on Tuesday (June 24).
Speaking to Ely News, Mr Fryer said: “We opened the shop under a three-month lease and effectively that was always the plan.
“We did at one time consider opening in Ely permanently but if I’m honest, the rents are too expensive here.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the last three months.”
The closure means the premises, which stood empty for more than two years before the pop-up shop opened inside it, will be empty again.
James Bateson, from local property management firm Rannerlow Ltd, is asking £40,000 a year in rent for the 2,015 square-feet shop – something which residents have slammed as “pure greed”.
Speaking earlier this year before the pop-up shop opened, Graham Hawes, of West Fen Road, Ely, said: “No wonder the old Millets store is empty if they’re asking £40,000 a year for the rent. It’s pure greed.
“Surely it would be in the landlord’s interest to lower the rent and actually get the building occupied?
“I can’t see many independent businesses being able to afford that and let’s face it, the majority of national firms are going to be waiting to move onto one of the out-of-town developments which are in the pipeline.”
But Mr Bateson defended the rent charges.
He said: “I don’t believe £40,000 is too steep.
“The rent is calculated per square foot and this building is a large unit. It also wouldn’t be fair for us to lower the rent as it has to be fair for all.
“I don’t think our other tenants, such as the butchers next door or the estate agents in the same block, would be too happy if we were manipulating the rent just to get the premises occupied.”
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