Handpicked Hall, Skipton, moves to attract more shoppers

Craven Herald: Handpicked Hall owner Anthony Blackburn Handpicked Hall owner Anthony Blackburn

Handpicked Hall in Skipton is on the move in an attempt to get itself better known in the town.

The collection of individual craft and vintage clothes shops and businesses opened in March in part of the former Co-op building next to Skipton Bus Station.

But a failure to attract enough customers means it is moving to a more prominent location just a short distance away in the former Co-op travel shop on Keighley Road, where it will open in the New Year.

Owner Anthony Blackburn, who has two other Handpicked Halls in Ripon and in Leeds, said not all the businesses would move to the new location, but that he hoped it would be positive for those who did.

The Cordwainers Restaurant, which is accessed off Swadford Street, will remain where it is and the craft studios on the first floor warehouse building will also stay put.

Mr Blackburn said although footfall was good through the hall, it was not the right type of shopper interested in what was being sold.

“The problem we have got is they are not always the right type of customer, they’re going from the bus station to Boyes and to Sports Direct and a lot of them don’t appreciate what we are doing at Handpicked Hall,” he said.

He said he hoped the new location, with one entrance and large windows onto Keighley Road, would mean retailers being noticed.

“I get so frustrated when people say to me they don’t know where we are, and you can’t put up with that forever,” he said. “We’re not getting the day trippers, they come to Skipton, but they’re not finding us.”

However, some of the traders were unhappy at the move. Sue Wilson of Fresh Faces Yorkshire said: “The new unit is less than half the size so space will be very limited. This plus an increase in over 300 per cent rent has forced most of the traders into a dilemma.

“I will not be transferring to the new unit and I suspect many will opt out.”

Mr Blackburn said he still wanted the Skipton Hand-picked Hall to be a success and he wanted to continue to give small businesses the chance to succeed without having to pay High Street rents.

“The beauty of the concept is if for some reason it doesn’t work out for someone, we just shake hands and wish all the best.”

It is understood that a cut price store, believed to be Poundland, will move into part of the old space.

Comments (1)

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1:10pm Tue 31 Dec 13

bettyswollocks says...

I know where it is but I don't know what it sells and I have the opinion that whatever is sold will be expensive.

That's just me but I'm sure I'm not the only one so there's three issues that you need to address for starters.
I know where it is but I don't know what it sells and I have the opinion that whatever is sold will be expensive. That's just me but I'm sure I'm not the only one so there's three issues that you need to address for starters. bettyswollocks

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