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Chessmen loses Cardiff shop as footfall slides

Cardiff-based independent Chessmen is closing one of its five stores following tough trading.

The business will shut its menswear store on Castle Arcade after footfall at its stores in the city fell by between 30% to 40% compared with the same time last year.

Owner Mark Hale said: "The closure follows parking problems because of the redevelopment of the St Davids 2 shopping centre, as well as a lack of strong trends or must-have items, and increasing competition on the high street. Our shops in Newport don't have the same problems."

The 1,200 sq ft Castle Arcade store opened seven years ago, selling denim and casualwear brands such as Diesel, Firetrap and Tommy Hilfiger. The labels will be moved into Chessmen's other menswear store, also on Castle Arcade, which sells a smarter offer including Ted Baker, Original Penguin and French Connection.

Hale will retain the old premises and convert it into a fancy dress shop. He already operates one such store in the city and has seen footfall increase, thanks to Cardiff's large student population.

The business opened a womenswear store in Cardiff last October, called Contrary. It also has a womenswear shop and a menswear shop in Newport, south Wales.

- See Talking Shop, page 16.

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