VOTE: Does the opening of two new shops in Petworth herald a growing improvement in the town’s retail fortunes?

Business is blooming in Petworth with the news that two well-established businesses have opened up new shops in the centre of the town.

Spriggs Florist, the long-established family business in Golden Square, has announced the birth of an off-shoot in New Street, which is called simply ‘Spriggs’ and The Petworth Book Shop has opened The Red Card in The High Street.

The main showroom on the ground floor of Spriggs stocks artificial plants, flower arrangements and loose stems.

In addition there is a range of clear and coloured glass vases, ceramic jugs, pots and urns and a selection of candles.

“The light and airy first floor is dedicated to private consultations with customers planning weddings or parties,” said Matthew Spriggs,

“Clusters of vases, vintage teacups and saucers, and candelabra are designed to inspire and illustrate the large spectrum of styles and looks that Spriggs can create to enhance a celebration.”

Matthew and his sister Samantha have also sourced a variety of classic and contemporary home accessories found on their travels in Europe; “We particularly like the items made from whisky casks which our father found on one of his fishing trips to the Scottish Highlands.”

There are signs too that Christmas is coming with a selection of door garlands, swags, table decorations and accessories with a festive feel.

Matthew explained: “Building on the success our florist shop has enjoyed over the past 31 years and with an ever-increasing range of beautiful products available, we decided that the original shop in Golden Square should focus solely on fresh flowers, plants, bouquets and planted arrangements with the showroom at the rear, dedicated to orchids.

“The new shop enables us to offer a larger range of the silk flowers and vases which we have always struggled to display at their best alongside the fresh flowers.”

The second success story in Petworth comes from The Petworth Book Shop which has opened The Red Card.

The book shop has been open in Golden Square for some 25 years: for the last four owned by Steve Howe. Recently it was decided to expand the shop, selling more books, and at the same time Sally Matson became manager of the shop’s latest venture The Red Card.

It sells cards, stationary, art prints and is currently stocking up on festive stocking fillers.

“There has been a trend recently of going back to the more traditional style of writing letters and sending cards and that’s where we come in stocking good-quality paper, pens and cards,” she said.

“The support from local people has been fantastic. We have a suggestion box and it has been lovely how many ideas customers have had for items we should stock.

“The launch of the new shop has been very successful.”