Covered Market rent forces flower shop to downsize

Sandie Griffith

Sandie Griffith

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A FLOWER shop in the city’s Covered Market celebrating its 30th anniversary is having to mark the birthday by downsizing.

Jemini is marking three decades in the city centre by opening its new shop.

However, owners Sandie and Bryan Griffith have had to downsize, because they say the rents in their previous unit had become too high.

But despite a high profile row with market owner Oxford City Council over its rent review, Mrs Griffith said she is still optimistic about the market’s future.

The 67-year-old said: “I believe in the Covered Market. I am not just a shop owner, I am secretary of the Covered Market Traders’ Association.

“We say it is the jewel in Oxford’s crown but there are not many markets around like this.

“The traders are all depressed with this rent review going on and we all want to get business back into the market.”

After being unable to agree on proposed rents for the market, with the city council having once attempted to put them up by as much as 70 per cent, the issue has now gone to arbitration.

The city council has also appointed a manager for the Covered Market for the first time and has agreed an action plan for improvements.

Sandie and Bryan Griffith started off as flower wholesellers but opened their own shop in 1984.

At their peak they had three shops, with one in Abingdon and one in Headington but these were sold when the couple got to retirement age and they now focus on the Covered Market store.

They have also won three Gold Medals and Chelsea Cups at the Chelsea Flower Show.

But Jemini has now had to move to a smaller unit because the rent of £24,000 a year was no longer affordable.

Mrs Griffith said: “I think it would be difficult if a shop started off from scratch in the Covered Market now. If they were already well-known it might be OK.

“Some of the units have changed hands several times recently.

“Unless they are a destination shop it is very difficult.

“The Covered Market has changed an awful lot but it is hard to compare it because the whole trading landscape has changed.

“Three decades ago you would have to push to get through the avenues but now it is an empty vessel. But I still enjoy trading here – otherwise I wouldn’t.”

Jemini will officially celebrate its 30th birthday tomorrow with the opening of its new store, which will be attended by the chairman of the British Florist Association, Brian Wills-Pope.

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Comments (5)

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6:34pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"At their peak they had three shops, with one in Abingdon and one in Headington but these were sold when the couple got to retirement age and they now focus on the Covered Market store."........
........in my opinion, if traders can afford to have shops elsewhere, they should be forced to vacate the covered market.
The covered market should be for businesses starting up, and the rents should be low enough to give them a decent start, but once they're established, after maybe 5 years, they should be encouraged to move on, the reason the council want to increase the rents so much, is because they've probably noticed some traders have other shops, and some of the shops that are in there, are charging almost the same as High Street retailers, so the consumers aren't benefiting.
Of course....I could be wrong.
"At their peak they had three shops, with one in Abingdon and one in Headington but these were sold when the couple got to retirement age and they now focus on the Covered Market store."........ ........in my opinion, if traders can afford to have shops elsewhere, they should be forced to vacate the covered market. The covered market should be for businesses starting up, and the rents should be low enough to give them a decent start, but once they're established, after maybe 5 years, they should be encouraged to move on, the reason the council want to increase the rents so much, is because they've probably noticed some traders have other shops, and some of the shops that are in there, are charging almost the same as High Street retailers, so the consumers aren't benefiting. Of course....I could be wrong. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -8

8:32am Wed 18 Jun 14

Albertsmith says...

Nice information, There is obviously a lot. Your points are very valuable and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this great blog with us.
Nice information, There is obviously a lot. Your points are very valuable and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this great blog with us. Albertsmith
  • Score: 0

8:41am Wed 18 Jun 14

AddySmith says...

This is very much great and hope fully nice blog. Every body can easily found her need able information. I am visit first time but I fond many use full article. I will back again when get time.
This is very much great and hope fully nice blog. Every body can easily found her need able information. I am visit first time but I fond many use full article. I will back again when get time. AddySmith
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Thu 26 Jun 14

AddySmith says...

The economy has been bad for the past seven years. She ought to have considered downsizing before now.

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om.sg/florist-singap
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The economy has been bad for the past seven years. She ought to have considered downsizing before now. flowers singapore http://www.dpetals.c om.sg/florist-singap ore.html AddySmith
  • Score: 0

8:01am Wed 16 Jul 14

AddySmith says...

I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about. At last I can have found something from this post which feels pretty good.
I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about. At last I can have found something from this post which feels pretty good. AddySmith
  • Score: 0

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