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Hastings Locksmiths: Parking was killing us

Ian - now has own parking

Ian - now has own parking

Escalating parking problems in Bohemia Road have driven old-established business Hastings Locksmiths away from the area.
The firm’s last day of trading at their old premises, 59 Bohemia Road, was on Friday 27th June. The next day they moved to Unit 3, Haywood Way, Ivyhouse Lane, and were open for business on the Monday June 30th.
“It’s the parking which was killing us.” said manager Ian Burt. “The outside work has escalated but the shop side has been getting lower and lower due to parking. Now we have our own parking spaces for customers. Every customer who has come to our new premises has said, ‘Great, we can park!’ We’re wondering how much business we lost through people going round and round and then giving up.”
He added, “It’s only the last couple of years that it has got so bad, because of the parking wardens.”
Ian described the new premises as being completely different from the previous shop. “It’s like going into a store. People can wander round the shelves and browse. It’s seven times as big as our old premises.”
“We’ve now got a huge workshop where we can do a lot more on the workshop side of locksmithing. Going to our new premises has completely modernised the way we do things. We now do a vast range of door handles and have expanded our range of fire equipment, fire exits etc.”
“People are finding us,” he continued. “We are specialists; the only shop in town I think who do what we do. We’ve lost a little passing trade – people who just want keys cut – but the people who come walk round and buy more. We haven’t lost any money in our first two weeks at our new premises, and we can build on that. Another couple of months and we will be back where we were four or five years ago when we were doing well. Now people can browse at their leisure without having to worry about the traffic wardens.”
Ian, who has been with the firm for seven years, initially as a sub-contractor, then taking over as manager in 2003, said, “I’m sad to go because we’ve been here since 1988 – twenty years in Bohemia Road. That’s a long time for someone just to uproot. I love Bohemia Road, but it’s just the parking.”

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