An independent trader who runs a shop on Marlow’s High Street has revealed that the rates they are paying are a ‘killer’.

Neil Walton, who works at Buckinghams of Marlow, spoke about how the High Street business specialise in second jewellery, how they pride in their customer service and how the potential idea of having a chain near their store could benefit them.

But at the same time, the second hand gem expert also discussed about some of the struggles they have as an independent business in Marlow.

He said exclusively to the Free Press: “The chains don’t really affect us but the one thing they do that impacts us on is the rates we pay as independents.

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“A multi-national company for example can afford to lose a store here or there because the landlord won't reassign it.

“And the rent that we pay as an independent along with the business rates we pay as an independent are a killer.

“For this site, we pay £32,000 just on business rates even though that goes to other public services.

“It’s a ridiculous amount of money and we don’t even get the bins collected for that.

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“So, our strategy and thoughts for the next time the lease is up for renewal is do we stay here?

"Do we relocate?

"Do we find another town?

"Do we take the independent business somewhere else because the model for online and retail footfall is changing?

“There is a lot to think about.”

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The business has been in Marlow for the last 15 years and on a good day, Buckinghams of Marlow can average around eight to 15 customers a day - sometimes 30 during the Christmas period.

And despite some businesses are not too keen that they are next to a chain, Neil would welcome it.

He said: “We’re in the same sector [as the chains] but we’re a different market to other jewellers as 95 per cent of what we sell is second hand.

“So if we had a like a H Samuel or another business right opposite us then that’s great, as we detail our products and pricing at what a new mark-up is to what we would sell it for.

“And there aren’t any big brands on the High Street so that doesn’t really impact us.

“People come to Marlow for a day out, to see family, tourism, go to the river so a lot of traffic we get is down to passing trade and impulse purchases.

“Yes, we are in a good location as we do get a lot of people pass us by, but it really does vary.

“And I think we can go up against any jewellery sector brand and destroy them on price.”