Womenswear independent mini-chain Aspire Style has closed its stores and website.
Founded in 2005, it had five stores – in Earlsdon, Warwick, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. However, it suffered with rising business rates and rents, falling footfall and heavy discounting combined with increased competition from online retailers.
Co-founders Emma Woodward and Sam Yair announced the closure with a “heavy heart”.
“It is hard to put into words how devastated we are to have to say goodbye to Aspire Style after 14 wonderful years. It’s so much more than just a business to us,” they said. “Our teams have been incredible, supportive and dedicated to the end. We will miss working with such wonderful people and great suppliers.
“Unfortunately, our business has been negatively impacted more and more over the last few years by the huge growth in online shopping and the inevitable decrease in footfall as a result. We’ve also struggled to re-structure with inflexible leases and increasing business rates. In addition, the introduction of outside shopping centres and heavy discounting from major retailers has been hard to compete with.”
The pair urged shoppers to support “other precious remaining independent retailers to make the high street an interesting and vibrant place to shop”.