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Shopkeepers branch out to improve Stroud High Street

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

Simon Powell of The Toy Shop and Brilliant Disguise with Pete Blythe of Cornflower and Calico and Ripcord

Simon Powell of The Toy Shop and Brilliant Disguise with Pete Blythe of Cornflower and Calico and Ripcord

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SHOPKEEPERS are branching out opposite each other to create a better offer to shoppers.

Simon Powell of fashion store Brilliant Disguise and Pete Blythe of Cornflower and Calico on the other side of Stroud High Street want shoppers to spend more time there.

So Simon is set to open The Toy Shop opposite Brilliant Disguise. And Pete has just opened ‘big boys and girls toy shop’ Ripcord, opposite Cornflower and Calico and two doors up from Brilliant Disguise.

Between them they want to create more of a hook for shoppers to spend more time in the upper part of the High Street.

With established independents including Moonflower, Trading Post, Sunshine, Made in Stroud, and Inprint nearby, they wanted to enhance what’s there along with other more recent additions including The Black Book Cafe, Number 23 Bar and Bistro, Treasure Seekers and Harriet’s Organic Hairdressing.

Stroud Farmers Market and The Shambles Market pulls in thousands of extra shoppers on Saturdays and they want their shops to benefit from that - and bring in shoppers to those markets through their stores too.

“We both want a successful town and neither of us wants to be surrounded by empty shops,” said Simon.

“We saw them come up opposite our shops and we made the decision to invest in something we believe in.

“We are building and improving the offer.

“We spent far too long, over too many pints talking about it, so now we are doing it.”

Pete said Ripcord should fill a gap in the market.

“I have always felt there was a market for teenagers in Stroud,” he said.

“We had a good store, the Shiny Bead Company, in the shop up until before Christmas but after it moved out, I thought it was time to act.”

It stocks everything from unicycles to juggling clubs to kites to scooters and more besides.

“It’s big boys and girls toys really,” said Pete. “It’s doing fine and we’re already building up a good following.”

The Toy Shop, selling products including Playmobile, Brio, and Djeco origami, will stage a special opening night on Thursday, April 10, from 6pm to 8pm, with fizz, sweets and 20% discount.

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