A popular toy shop in a Buckinghamshire shopping centre is set to close, prompting residents to criticise the ‘sorry state’ of the in-person retail scene.

Toys UK, an independent store in the Eden Shopping Centre, High Wycombe, has announced its imminent closure in the town, with a spokesperson expressing ‘deep regret’ for the difficult decision.

Taking to the company’s social media on Wednesday, February 7, they wrote: “It is with deep regret that we must announce that our High Wycombe branch in the Eden Shopping Centre is closing down.

“Visit us in-store now for 25 per cent of all marked prices while stocks last.”

Residents in High Wycombe took to the comments of the post to share their disappointment at losing the multifaceted branch, which stocks traditional wooden toys, LEGO and trading cards and has held live product demonstrations, competitions and play days in the shopping centre.

Alexandra Brown said she was “gutted” at the news, adding: “Such a lovely shop. Our high streets and shopping centres are in a sorry state indeed. By the time my children grow up, I fear they will be a thing of the past.”

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Heather Copete wrote: “Oh no! That’s so sad. Now we have no toy shop – is there any way it can be saved?”

Meanwhile, Mike Moretti suggested the closure was due to “demand-related” issues, writing: "(It's) very difficult for businesses to survive when the online space is so convenient and cheap”.

It comes less than a week after popular fast fashion shop Zara departed from the Eden Shopping Centre, prompting some residents to criticise a “lack of investment” in the complex, while others were worried that shops will continue to disappear amid the rising popularity of online shopping.

Despite this, Shopping Centre Director Andrew Norton told the Free Press last month that nine new retailers and leisure operators were lined up to arrive in Eden later this year, although kept tight-lipped on the details.

He added: “Our current vacancy rate is just 5.7 per cent, compared to a national shopping centre vacancy rate of just under 20 per cent, which demonstrates that Eden is performing exceptionally well. 2024 is certainly looking bright.”