Antiques firm excels

WHAT a damaging article I have just read in the Observer (January 19), ‘Dealer is to leave town after rent increase’.

I know you put a counter argument in the closing paragraphs but the die is cast with the banner headline and gloomy news in the first 80 per cent of the story.

Richard Gardner I get on with very well, and Richard is a great one for self-promotion, but he ran a similar line in The Antiques Trade Gazette and got a lot of flak from Petworth.

It is a shame that after living and trading in this town for many years, one cannot move on with better grace.

All businesses have to change and evolve and sometimes a business model is not suited to a harder economic climate where clients are looking for serious value for money.

Richard has had to scale down to a non-high street premises a fraction of the size of his showroom in Petworth, which I think tells the story and perhaps is the reason for the spin being given for relocating: most successful businesses move onwards with a larger stock, not a smaller one.

I came to Petworth some years before Richard and can honestly say that no business is probably easy at this time, but we have just had our best December ever in over 20 years here.

I do believe that if you offer a good product at the right price with good service, there is still business to be done.

Petworth is almost certainly the main centre for antiques now in the UK, and I am sure will remain so with or without Richard Gardner.

Tony Wilkinson

T G Wilkinson Antiques Ltd, Petworth