City businesses to close

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Two more businesses which have been around for three decades in Chichester are set to disappear for good from the city centre.

Bastow’s Classics music shop in North Street will be closing on December 23 while the Sussex Linen Company just down the road will be empty by March of next year.

The music shop at 55a has been bitten by the frosty recession, while the linen business at 36 has chosen not to renew its lease.

Michael Cranfield, the manager at Bastow’s, said the shop’s closure was a sign of the times.

He said: “It is very sad to see the demise of Bastow’s after all these years. I shall miss it. I have been very privileged to serve this business.

“But all good things must come to an end.”

Bastow’s will close its doors for the last time on December 23. Its owner Nick Howell said: “It is a very sad day, for all of us. But the business is not making enough money and we can’t keep it open.”

Sussex Linen is now holding a closing-down sale.

Manager Pauline May said: “The customers are gutted, the boss is gutted and we are gutted. A lot of people come to Chichester just to use our business.”

Bastow’s first opened at North Street in 1980, a spot now occupied Sussex Stationers.

The business moved to a building at the end of North Street in 1985.

Ralph Harvey, who has been at Bastow’s from the beginning, said the business had always stuck with three key elements; classical repertoire, quality jazz and world and folk music.

Ralph said: “In those days we had very well-informed clientele, where the staff learnt from customers rather than the customers learning from the staff.

“It has changed because of a general decline in these clientele.

“Also there is the influence of radio stations that teach listeners to want just sound bytes rather than full works.”

Mr Howell added: “Music retailers are having a tough time. People don’t want CDs any more. It is a great shame.”