Chichester sports shop ‘adapting’ and moving online

The team at Meritz
The team at Meritz
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TWO sports shops on Chichester’s high street will close this month and focus on their websites.

The two independent sports shops, North Street’s Meritz and Baffins Court’s Street Feet will both close their doors to the high street. Meritz is leaving the Chichester high street on March 30, after 28 years to focus on its online market.

But owner Melzie Smith said even though it is changing format, she thinks it is a step in the right direction for the business.

“Rent is expensive in Chichester, and there isn’t enough footfall, but the people of Chichester have been good to us,” said Melzie.

“The word is out now and some of our loyal customers are devastated. But we’ll have the website.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years. We are not dying, we are just adapting.”

The store has strong links with Chichester University, Chichester Racquet and Fitness Centre, and many schools in the area, and 
hopes to continue working with its loyal customers in the city.

Melzie said it would continue to sell sportswear on its website, but it will not sell school uniforms any more, and its stock will go on to Game, Set and Match on the Beaver Retail Park.

And the second sports shop to close, Street Feet, announced the closure of its store on Twitter today (March 15), and said tomorrow will be the last chance to grab a bargain from the store.

“We’ll continue online so you can shop from the comfort of your own home. Soon there will be no point is going outside,” read the announcement.

With more and more shops turning their back on the high street and moving online, what will be the fate of the city centre? Give us your thoughts below.