A popular city flower business has uprooted and left thecentre:mk after 26 years of trading, blaming extortionate rent prices and an unreasonable lease.
Flower Kube owner Simon Savin says that the terms of the new lease, coupled with an increase in rent, left him with no choice but to leave.
“It was an unreasonable lease,” he told the Citizen.
“They wanted the right to change the image of the stall from time to time, and I was told it was messy and untidy.
“Including VAT I’ve been paying £48,000 a year for the past three years. I was just paying the bills really,” he said.
“Per square metre it worked out I’ve been paying more than the shops are.”
“We keep being told that footfall is up, but if you don’t get people spending money, that doesn’t matter.
“If you want variation, you’ve got to give variation,” Simon said.
“It is a shame because I like the shopping centre.”
But thecentre:mk says that it works with individual traders and offers reasonable terms.
“The Flower Kube has been a long standing valued trader within the centre and we are disappointed that despite agreeding the terms of a new lease, they decided to leave,” said commercialisation manager Tom Brice.
“We pride ourselves on providing commercial terms that are tailored to individual business requirements and continue to look to support our 39 independent traders with reasonable terms.
Mr Brice said the rental increase ‘was equivalent to £2.64 per day and covered rent, business rates and services.’
“Should they wish to reconsider their position our door is always open,” he added.
However customers are still upset by the loss of the popular stall.
“It is such a shame the Flower Kube has gone
“It is an iconic part of the shopping centre,” one regular shopper told the Citizen.
“We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the years,” Mr Savin added.
The Flower Kube has not ceased trading, and will continue to welcome customers at Savin Nurseries in Stondon, Beds.