Preston clothing and vinyl shop Hollywood Exports Vintage Clothing and Co. permanently closed its Preston store at the end of March due to obstructing scaffolding works.
Owner, Matthew Taylor blames the ongoing repairs to the Premier Inn hotel building above for the shop’s closure.
Repairs to the building above have been going on for over a year and will take place until October at the earliest.
Hollywood Exports Vintage Clothing and Co. sells a variety of vintage clothing, vinyl records, vintage toys and is famous for their ET replica in their window.
The Preston store was located on Fox St, just off of Preston High Street, on the ground floor of the Premier Inn building.
Matthew was informed by his letting agent that they were having to do repair work in response to the building safety requirements that were introduced following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
This meant that all the cladding would have to be removed from the building.
Matthew said: “We were down something like 82% in turnover because no one can see us, you can’t see we’re there. No one’s walking past there anymore so our footfall’s just dropped off a cliff.”
He said: “We just had to kill it, it’s really sad. It really sucks because it was a really cool shop but what can you do. I can’t keep chucking money at it and not making enough money.”
He said people used to get ‘lost among the scaffold: “I used to probably get one or two messages a day off of a customer saying I can’t even get into the shop because there’s a forklift.”
“The stock that we were getting in for this season was absolutely insane. I’m talking about proper original band t-shirts and some amazing stuff from the states.
“So, there was some really rare stuff to come. I just can’t keep putting the money in, it’s like tens of thousands of pounds in stock and if I put it out in Preston and no one’s coming in because no one can see us then that’s really bad business.”
Eric Wright Construction Ltd. did not comment.
Premier Inn was approached for comment.
All the items in the Preston store were sold to another dealer to stick with the store’s unique upkeep and fresh stock theme.
The store has three other locations in Clitheroe, Lytham and Hebden Bridge.
The Lytham store opened in November last year.
Matthew said although he is disheartened at the Preston store’s closure, the Lytham store is much busier on weekends than the Preston store ever was.
He said: “You’ve got people who come and go oh I’ve seen this shop in Preston, I’ve seen this in Clitheroe, and people just kind of familiarise themselves with the Brand and come in.
“There’s nothing really like this round here so there’s always an untapped demographic.
“So, we’re getting people from the University of Preston- It’s not that far to Lytham is it. So, people are travelling that little bit of distance.
“Yes, there’s an older demographic as people who are residents here, but generally speaking this is way better than Preston.”
The resale clothes market grew by 149% between 2016 and 2022 in the UK, and is predicted to rise by 67.5% between 2022 to 2026, according to GlobalData.
With celebrities like musician Olivia Rodrigo embracing vintage clothing and even selling her own pre-loved clothes on popularised apps like Depop, which allows customers to buy and sell vintage clothing online, stores like Hollywood Vintage Exports are praised for their unique items.
University student Kyra Rimmer was a regular at Hollywood Exports’ Preston store.
She was upset to see the store close.
She said: “I was quite sad because I’ve spent quite a lot of money and time there. Even if I didn’t go in and buy something it was always nice to be able to go in there and have a look and see what’s different because there’s always new things coming out- always ‘one off’ pieces.”
Kyra went to the Lytham branch but although she said it was a nice store, you couldn’t beat the one in Preston. She missed the big bright space of the Preston store and the indoor basketball net customers occasionally shot at.
She said: “If I was in town or in the area I would always go.
“It had the ‘one off’ pieces. I liked the idea of looking through things and finding ‘the piece’ and I liked the vintage style of clothing that they had.”
Hollywood exports has an online shop and also gives people the first chance to buy items on their Instagram, before it reaches the stores.
Matthew said that UCLan students who bring their student Layard will receive a 20% discount in the Lytham Shop.