01480 213811


Following the news that Waterstones is to move its present operation in St Neots from Barratts Department Store, Barford + Co, the local firm of Chartered Surveyors and Planning Consultants has been liaising with the company to identify suitable retail premises in the town.

Barford + Co has confirmed that Waterstones initially considered the Shoe Zone shop at 27 High Street which is becoming vacant shortly. However, Waterstones has concluded that this property is not large enough to suit their requirements. The company requires a prominent High Street position with a minimum ground floor sales area of 1,500 sq ft.

Barford + Co confirmed that one or two other options are presently under consideration but these were not looking particularly positive at the present time.

Felicity Paddick at Barford + Co commented “On the one hand it is encouraging that Waterstones is keen to continue to trade in St Neots; on the other hand it is extremely frustrating that there is nothing which appears to be suitable at the present time”.

Chris Scourfield, Head of Property for Waterstones Booksellers added “We investigated the possibility of relocating our St Neots store to 27 High Street but regrettably concluded that it was too small to accommodate our needs. St Neots remains an important market for us and we are continuing to search for suitable long term premises in the town”.

Felicity Paddick of Barford + Co also commented on comments made on social media. “There seems to be a view amongst some of the people of St Neots that Barford + Co is responsible for rental levels charged in St Neots for shop premises. This is clearly not the case – rental levels are determined by supply and demand. Contrary to popular belief, landlords do not want their shops lying empty – this costs them rates and insurance. Rental levels have reduced in most high streets in the UK due to the changing patterns of retailing and reduced demand. This is making some shops more affordable than they have been for a long time. We will continue to work with Waterstones to attempt to provide them with a suitable location within the town”.

Barford + Co has confirmed that following the expiry of Shoe Zone’s lease, this property will become vacant shortly and the company is presently having a closing down sale. However Barford + Co has confirmed that there is already serious interest in this shop from another national multiple retailer.

Parties who have retail premises to let or sell should contact Felicity Paddick or Phil Halmshaw at Barford + Co on 01480 213811.

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