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Hollywood Exports in Preston city centre forced to close store

Posted on - 3rd April, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Inside Hollywood Exports
Inside Hollywood Exports

Independent retailer, Hollywood Exports has closed its physical store in Preston City Centre.

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The vintage clothing store featuring hand-picked items from California, was a popular hotspot for students since its opening in September 2018 in Fox Street.

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The closure was put into immediate effect on Monday 20 March, due to ongoing struggles starting from the Covid-19 pandemic, to the cost-of-living crisis and building construction works to remove exterior cladding on a hotel chain.

Mr Matthew Taylor, owner of Hollywood Exports told Blog Preston that the current and long-term repair works on the Premier Inn Building in Fox Street, made the clothing shop invisible to customers.

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The store is hidden behind the scaffolding works Pic: Hollywood Exports - Vintage Clothing Co.
The store is hidden behind the scaffolding works Pic: Hollywood Exports – Vintage Clothing Co.

He said: “We’ve been there for five years now and it has been fantastic, but we had the pandemic which really hurt us.

“What’s happened is that they are doing all the repairs due to the Grenfell Tower incident, so all the Premier Inn buildings are getting the cladding removed and replaced.

“The project was meant to take about a year, but I’ve found out that the project will go on till the end of October this year.

“We’re already down like 82 per cent in profit when I did the calculations, because no one knows we are there.

“You can’t see our building and you can’t get into it half the time, it has just been horrible.”

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The Premier Inn Building in Preston is owned by Kames Capital and was put on sale in 2022.

Mr Taylor went onto speak about the downfall of the high street and rising costs that is a challenge for many independent businesses.

He said: “I saw quite a nice glimmer of hope in Preston five years ago that’s why we took the shop up there.

“They changed the high street, re-did the things and it was looking like it was going to be on the hood.

“Sadly I think Preston is in desperate need of some mouth to mouth resuscitation, it is in a terrible state of affairs.

“I’m absolutely gutted about it but what can you do, business is business at the end of the day.

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“If we’re not paying the bills, we’re not paying their rent, then something has to give, and so we’re just a victim of the situation.

“We’ve got our own expenses and then the knock-on effect is on the customers who you rely on, who have also seen things go up in price so they are not spending as much. It is a tricky situation.”

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On the bright side, the Hollywood Exports stores in Lytham, Clitheroe and Hebden Bridge are said to be doing really well.

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Mark Whittle, manager of Preston’s Business Improvement District said: “Hollywood Exports was a unique offer for the city, and will be missed.

“There is a lot of redevelopment currently happening in the city centre, which once complete, will benefit us all. 

“Unfortunately, lengthy building works can be a challenge for businesses to sustain, in the long term. 

“We hope that we will see Hollywood Exports back in the city at some point in the near future, and wish the team continued success.”

In light of recent events, UCLan and college students from Preston will get 20 per cent off when shopping in the Lytham store.

Prestonians will also get first dibs’ on new clothing items from the US on the Hollywood Exports Facebook page.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

Have you bought vintage clothing items from the former Preston store? Let us know in the comments below.

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