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Indie O’Keefe to relocate following rent hike

Womenswear independent O’Keefe will close its Esher, Surrey, shop at the end of July after 10 years following a rent increase that made business in the area “unsustainable”.

The shop at 11 High Street will continue trading until the end of next month.

Owner Janine O’Keefe said the decision was “not an easy one to make”, but felt she had “no other choice”. She would not say by how much the rent had gone up.

She added: “We were already spending a lot on rent and rates, so the increase was the final straw. It has become increasingly difficult to trade in Esher with rent increases, high rates and no parking, which has definitely affected footfall.”

O’Keefe will open a smaller store in the south west of London next spring, although she is yet to sign a deal for a new unit. It will offer a mix of fashion and homeware sourced from India, Morocco and California.  

Website OKeefefashion.com will continue to trade as usual.

Readers' comments (3)

  • More sad news for the indie sector , a combination
    Of greedy landlords that would prefer a charity shop
    With the strong covenant of being a national chain ,
    And discounting websites, like my wardrobe and asos is making life increasingly difficult

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  • Sad to hear this, Janine. Good luck with the new shop.

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  • One thing Indies have to take on board is if the figures don't add up, go somewhere else. There's nothing wrong in that. You don't have to be in a primary location to do well. You much better off having less footfall in a much less expensive area of town than more footfall in a much more expensive area.

    Landlords live on supply and demand. They don't care who has their shop as long as someone does. If the demand drops and nobody is interested, then the rents will come down, but they always somehow manage to find a face.

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