Independent store Present Days has announced the ‘devastating’ news that its doors will be closing at the end of the month.
The gift shop has been located in North Street for more than 30 years, however due to rent costs the owner has decided to shut up shop before financial matters get worse.
Owner, Pauline Poll, said: “It is terribly sad that we have to close.”
“It really is upsetting – so many customers have said how devastated they are and keep asking if there is anything that could be done to keep us open.”
Pauline has recently celebrated her eighth year running the store, along with volunteers – some of which have been at the store for more than 20 years.
“I have three lovely ladies who work for me,” continued Pauline.
“They all work for free to help me – they do it for the love.”
Pauline plans to close the Present Days door for the final time on August 31.
“I really believe something has to be done to protect the small businesses in the city,” she said.
“People keep saying to me – ‘oh is it going to turn into another coffee shop?’
“Chichester will start to look like any other town if this keeps happening, it will lose its character.”
Despite years of happy memories, Pauline admitted that the experience has made her think twice about opening another store.
She said: “To be honest it has left me a bit scarred.
“We tried discussing rent prices with our landlord but there was no give – this closure has been on the cards for the past couple of years because we just can’t afford it.
“I may open another shop in the future but for now this experience has definitely left a mark.”
Present Days will be holding a closing down sale until the end of August.