As one retail giant shuts its doors on Northampton's main shopping street a new vintage venture has set up nearby... and it's hoping to bring consumers back into our town.
Over 60 traders moved their products into a new 'vintage and retro emporium' in St Giles Street on Saturday (August 18) as TV design expert, Max McMurdo - who recently featured alongside Kirstie Allsop on Channel 4's Fill Your House For Free - cut the ribbon to open Vintage Guru.
The shop, which was formerly the Manna House, brings together a host of bright and edgy vintage clothing, vinyl records, retro gifts, handmade household items as well as up-cycled furniture.
The project is the brainchild of Northampton-born business partners Matthew Lewis-Crick and Julie Teckman who think the contents of their shop could help to uplift Northampton's shopping scene again.
Matthew said: "We are really proud of Northampton - that’s part of the ethos of the shop. We want to uplift Northampton and make it [Vintage Guru] somewhere that people can come back into town for.
"We’ve had no end of people say they don’t shop in Northampton anymore and there’s nothing to come in for, so we are putting something here for people to especially come in for."
Traders can rent a pod off Vintage Guru bosses from anywhere between £35 to £400 a month dependant on whether they want to hire a few shelves or a room for their wares.
Matthew added: "Everything is all about local independents really and giving them the opportunity to get on the high street - whereas if they were on their own they wouldn't be able to afford the rates and wouldn't be able to afford the upkeep of staffing the shop.
"That's where we come in and give those little independents a voice.
"We never really know what will come through the door, say for example we have an old New York subway sign and a crochet unicorn head.
"There’s no kind of boundary to what comes through our doors and it changes everyday. Traders stock up on a daily basis so they keep it fresh and current."
The shop is open seven days a week from 11am until 7pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am until 4pm on Sunday.
Julie said: “Northamptonshire has already got a strong reputation as a centre for vintage and antiques with new and established vintage emporia in most parts of the county, but we want to bring it to the heart of the town, to the best street for independent traders.
"With the university opening at Waterside this Autumn we wanted to offer something for the thousands of students who will be studying and living in the town centre as well as for loyal shoppers who already enjoy St Giles Street.”