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Bovilles to close after 50 years in town centre

An art shop is closing down after more than 50 years in the town centre.

A. Boville Wright Ltd, known as Bovilles, in High Street, is shutting its doors for good early next month.

The retirement of its part-owner Robert Wright is the main reason for the closure, but the decision has also been influenced by a drop in footfall and the absence of a buyer prepared to take the branch on.

The shop originally opened in Queen Street in 1967, before moving to the larger building in the High Street in 1991.

The company’s other branch, in Uxbridge, which also houses its head office, will remain open.

The Maidenhead shop is now holding a sale and is due to shut for good on Friday, November 9.

Mr Wright, managing director and part-owner, said: “As a specialist art shop we traditionally had quite a wide catchment area but, with the ease of ordering online and home delivery, customers don’t need, or want, to travel any distance to buy in person.

“Our experience also indicates that there are fewer people ‘doing art’ these days.

“And, of course, years of austerity and its impact on people’s spending habits have not helped.”

Mr Wright added that business rates, although they had not been increasing, were still a ‘burden’.

Marie-Anne Leonard, who managed the shop for more than 10 years before moving on three years ago, spoke of her sadness at the news.

She said: “I knew it was coming but I feel incredibly nostalgic and quite sad.

“I knew the owner decided to retire but these things always come as a surprise. It is a big loss to Maidenhead. It’s the way the world is, unfortunately.”

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