Landmark toy shop will close for the final time this weekend

Hyde's toy shop, Market Street, Chorley
Hyde's toy shop, Market Street, Chorley

A long-established town centre toy shop is calling it a day.

Hyde’s on Market Street shop will close on Saturday but retain an online business.

The business blamed online shopping, business rates and Market Walk competition for the closure.

In a statement, owner Gerry Hyde said: “Hyde’s Toys of Chorley was opened in 1990. It was the first store we opened and where our business started. It is therefore heartfelt that we have decided to close the store on April 30.

“We feel over the years we have become part of the community and realise the store will be sadly missed by our customers, especially the children and therefore warrants our explanation.

“The store has been non-profitable for the last two years and even with a reduction in rent and rates the store failed to make a profit.

“The three main reasons for this are; the substantial shift from high street to online shopping, no reduction in business rates to reflect this shift and competition from the larger discount stores within the Market Walk.”

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “Obviously we are sad to see an independent business go in Chorley. It’s just an ongoing battle against the stores who have extended credit facilities with suppliers.

“Business rates are a problem. The government have given us a reduction for the last two years, but this year, every high street store has to fund another £30 at a time when consumers aren’t spending as much due to the economic outlook.”

Gary Hall, chief executive at Chorley Council, said: “It is always sad to see an established shop close and I wish Mr Hyde well with his online business.

“I would urge any business in a similar situation to contact us, we would always meet up with them to see if there’s anything we could do to help.”

“However, we have no influence on business rates, they are set by the government’s Valuation Office Agency and any business can appeal to VOA for a re-rating.”