A THREE-decade old shop in Headington, Oxford, is to become the latest independent trader to close, while uncertainty surrounds the future of another store.

Businesses have suffered a number of problems in the last 12 months, including increa-sed car park fees, road works, bad weather and the recession.

But discount store Clovers, in Windmill Road, will shut in the next three months because of a change in shopping habits.

Owner John Hudson said: “We just aren’t getting any decent level of customers in the area anymore.

“The council have taken all the parking away and empty stores are being replaced by food outlets or coffee shops.”

Mr Hudson owns three other shops in Botley, Berinsfield and Kidlington, but said Headington was doing the worst.

His shops in Wantage and Banbury have already closed, although the other three will stay open.

He said: “Headington always used to be our best store, with consistently high profits. It was our first store here.

“But people don’t come to Headington to browse the shops anymore.

“A lot of people blame the high rents and rates, but they’ ve been the same for years.

“It’s just people’s shopping habits are changing really.”

Meanwhile, a sign on the Londis store, on the corner of London Road and Windmill Road said the shop had “gone into receivership”.

Owner Palmer Singh said in November his business was hit hard by recent roadworks.

He said: “I’m just not getting the footfall of people that I used to, and I have had to lose three members of staff.”

Mr Singh refused to comment on the shop’s future.

Other shops to recently close included Today’s Local and Ripples bathroom showroom.

But Elaine Bellenger, owner of Monaco clothing store, in Old High Street, believed things were looking up.

She said: “Since all the refurbishment, the whole place loo-ks much better and the council have shown a real willingness to work with us.

“The rents have not been put up and they have agreed to get rid of one-hour parking, so now people will be able to buy either half an hour or two hours.

“It means people can either just run into a shop and out again, or for 20p more, stay for two hours and browse the shops.”

She added: “I know we have had some shops close down, but a lot of new ones are also opening up.”