THE owner of one of Westbury’s oldest retail businesses has refuted fears that the town’s High Street is slowly dying.

Emma Symonds, 35, owner of E J Crafts in Maristow Street, says: “Westbury High Street is slowly dying. It needs more footfall for traders and shops to survive.”

However, Gary Davies, of Davies of Westbury, which sells DIY, gardening and cookshop goods, says shopkeepers can survive if they continue to change and modernise to attract new and existing customers.

“We now have two new supermarkets in the town, with an Aldi and a Lidl on either side of Westbury,” he said..

“It’s pretty obvious that this is going to take business out of the town centre. If you drag people away from the town, not out of the town, they change their shopping habits.”

Mr Davies was speaking after news spread in the town that Kevins Menswear in the High Street is to close after 55 years.

Owner Kevin Greatwood has decided to retire at the age of 80 after a downturn in business and is now holding a closing down sale.

The Madame Butterfly Tearoom & Cafe in Maristow Street, is also shutting on April 20.

Owner Jo Holt said: “It is with great sadness that we announce to you all that we will be closing down. We would like to sincerely thank each and every one of our customers for your support throughout the past eight years.”

Mr Davies added: “We have trebled the size of our shop over the years and business is fantastic. The problem is that some of the High Street shops are too small and no longer fit for purpose. People will go where they want to and retailers must move with the times.”