The closure of another landmark business premises in Naas highlights the difficulties faced by retailers in the town.
Hynes Shoes at North Main Street has closed after 21 years in business and there was a shoe shop at that premises for many years before that.
It was not possible to contact Hynes’ proprietor Frank Madigan and the group which represents Naas retailers no longer appears to be active.
However another business is set to open in place of the Mitzy children clothes retail outlet (which closed in January after more than 3 years in business), close to Hynes. Proprietor Caroline Crowe, who was also involved in Mitzy says the Happidays shop will also sell boys and girls clothing as well as having a gift and toys sectionNevertheless she remains critical of the number of privately operated car park owners who clamp vehicles, charging release fees of up to up to €120.
“I wanted to reopen the shop and launch it as a new venture but the big issues is that people are afraid to park because of the risk of being clamped if the ticket runs out. It would be a better idea for people to pay for parking afterwards by means of a coupon rather than having to worry about the consequences of a ticket running out. People are not against pay parking but clamping is extremely frustrating,” Ms. Crowe told the Leader.
She believes the absence of a major retailer like Dunnes Stores to bring people into the town is a negative factor. “People say that Naas is losing its soul; it was highly thought of but it is losing its appeal and at the very least a major town centre car park is needed to end the threat of clamping.” Ms. Crowe said the town council car park off Friary Road is too far from the town. She also criticised the “filthy” condition of the streets.