Axminster Basingstoke due to close because of "dramatically increasing costs"

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alan895

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https://www.basingstokegazette.co.u...r-tools-close-basingstoke-store-matter-weeks/
AFTER 10 years in the city a tools and machinery company will be closing its Basingstoke branch.

Axminster Tool’s Basingstoke unit was the sixth shop the Devon headquartered business opened back in 2013, replacing Comet in Winchester Road.
But due to “dramatically increasing costs” the store, by Brighton Hill Roundabout, will close its doors for the final time on Wednesday, June 21.
The final decision was made on Thursday, May 25 following increases in the rent, with all the staff being handed their notices and made redundant.

A customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "Everyone is really upset, customers have been leaving the store crying. The shop has been a lifeline for some people."
As well as selling tools to trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts the Basingstoke business has welcomed craftsmen to lead public demonstrations.

Ahead of the closure, a 20 per cent clearance is on offer while stock lasts.

Axminster Tools’ Basingstoke website currently reads: “Due to dramatically increasing costs, we have made the difficult decision to close.

“The store will remain open until June 21 and we would like to thank you for your continued support.”

The tools trader is closed for the rest of the bank holiday weekend but will resume its normal opening hours on Tuesday, May 30 and into the next three weeks.

Axminster's seven other branches in Devon, Cardiff, High Wycombe, Newcastle, Warwickshire, Kent and Cheshire will remain open. For more information go to axminstertools.com/.
 
same thing happened to my works 30odd years ago......had 5 men working....
made more money with less stress working out of a Transit van 3-4 days per week.........
eventually got fed up with that *rain n cold) and went to work abroad again.....
 
Being a local I’ve spent many hours in that store. It’s a real shame. Prices weren’t great when compared with online but I totally get why. Think I’ll try to get there today
 
You often see increased rent as a reason for closing a location. Begs the question is it better for a landlord to have an empty property of a paying tenant? There does seem to be a glut of commercial retail premises available
 
I think its easy to blame landlords here, but rent goes up in 10 or 5 year cycles as a rule. It was expected and axminster will have known that rent will be going up. On the whole there is often a shortage of commercial sites so its unlikely that the landlord was being unreasonable. Its is however much more likely that the impact of the internet, covid etc has meant that the need for physical stores has reduced. Just my thoughts
 
Unfortunately the same has happened in Axminster, the lovely shop was closing on my last visit and they are just using the main warehouse on a trading estate on the outskirts of Axminster. I understand they are changing their name to Axminster Outskirts Tools..........
 
It is the high streets that are losing retail and have surplus property due to (a) work from home reducing demand for office space, and (b) on-line shopping replacing traditional retail.

More modern commercial property with good access to road networks is apparently in high demand to meet storage needs for centralised distribution for online sales.

Also, despite concerns expressed generally about the loss of traditional high streets, little seems to be done to curb the rise of out of town retail with good access and generally free parking.
 
I dropped in this morning and picked up a new 1/2" Crown Cryo bowl gouge that was on my list to get some time anyway, and a few other bits and pieces.

It's only five minutes away from me but I seldom used it to be honest, usual story of many things being significantly better priced and/or more choice online. If it was a modest difference I'd likely have picked up locally but it was usually pretty significant even after paying delivery costs from elsewhere.

Still sad it's closing but I hadn't expected it to last as long as it has to be honest as the few times I went it was usually pretty empty, shame all the same.
 
There is no logic to what a property company charges a retailer for rent, in some cases it really is illogical and you get higher rents being charged in a more deprived area than the more affluent area just twenty miles up the road. For someone like Axminster having a commercial retail unit amongst retailers who sell kitchens, furniture and clothes makes no sense, why don't they use industrial units on industrial parks and be amongst companies like CEF, Howdens and other more trade focused outlets as I am sure rents must be better or more competative, even buy the unit as an investment.
 
It's only five minutes away from me but I seldom used it to be honest, usual story of many things being significantly better priced and/or more choice online.
That is a problem with woodworking, there is a limited market and machinery is often just an occasional purchase but it is a case of use it or lose it !

Having it 5 mins down the road would be really handy, got a problem and just pop in to look for the solution. I would think a lot of people shop for the quality rather than price so I use online only for suppliers I can trust and not to look for the cheapest option, buy cheap and buy again.
 
The Axminster branch near me in North Shields (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) was in a retail park when it first opened, but moved to a trading estate after only a few years, I suspect the rent was a lot cheaper. It made no difference to me because when going there I’m not going for any of the other shops during the same trip (the other shops sold carpets or £-shops).

However, what has dramatically reduced me shopping there was them reducing their open hours to standard office hours plus Saturday. I often used to go on Sundays or in the early evening after work, but that’s no longer an option.
 
Despite having a fair bit of kit that I have purchased from Axminster Tools over the past 30 /40 years, ( their logo is on lots of kit ,from extractors and compressors to grinders and chop-saws ) I have always thought of them as largely a mail-order company.
So it always puzzled me as to why they needed to have actual stores in different parts of the country. Distribution hubs... yes, but stores themselves?
I know it's nice to visit and actually see the machines in action, but is it necessarily needed? I have never once during my entire woodworking career, visited a single one of their stores, despite, at one time, being a fairly regular customer.
 
I would think a lot of people shop for the quality rather than price so I use online only for suppliers I can trust and not to look for the cheapest option, buy cheap and buy again.
Maybe, but not really the point I was making :) I research what I want to buy, or know from experience what I'm after, it's then a case of where to get it from, not can I buy a cheaper version/brand that might be a leap of faith.

Like for like items they have pretty much always been significantly over priced than alternative sources, in my experience anyway.
 
before they then go home and order it online from somewhere cheaper.
Yes always a problem because a lot of people try and get a bargain that turns out to be tack, much better and cost effective to buy quality once, not saying all Axminster stuff is good quality but it is a good lesson learnt when you find you have to buy the more expensive item because what you were trying to find cheaper elsewhere was rubbish. Maybe Axminster will become just an online retailer but it is often better to handle the goods rather than buy blind so having some outlets on a smaller scale might be there way forward.

they have pretty much always been significantly over priced than alternative sources
Could be because of there high overheads that the property landlord charges in rent.
 
I guess a fair amount of the Axminster stores footfall will be people going in for a look and play with the different things they are thinking of buying before they then go home and order it online from somewhere cheaper.
Unfortunately that is the way of it today. I flatly refuse to do it but my wife and daughters see it as the normal way to shop, to the extent of going to the shops to try clothes on and then ordering the same thing when they get home. I hate it…
 
I went to the Basingstoke branch and prices with the 20% off were better than online in the items that I got below

Narex 5 chisel bevel set
A couple of Japanese flush trim saws
Sjobergs smart clamp

There was a nice slag of beech 54 quid maybe 22 to 30 mm thick - I was tempted but figured I would have the resaw it before I could do anything with it, so I left it

I’ll probably make one last trip before they close.
 

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