“Montague Street is on an upward turn”

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ANTIQUES dealer Kate Barnes says that Worthing needs more independent shops to prevent the town from becoming a “faceless society”.

She has recently opened Encore, in Montague Street, which offers items from £5 to £500 and is described as an ‘eclectic mix of items that span the period from the 1800’s through to the Fifties and Sixties.’

Ms Barnes, who has formerly worked in an emporium, said she was walking past the empty shop earlier this year and thought it would be perfect.

“My whole family are in antiques, my late mother and father owned three shops in Middle Street, Brighton and my sister runs Shoreham Whitehouse Antiques,” she said.

“It is in my blood and I remember being around antiques as a child. I was told to respect nice pieces of furniture.

“Encore includes Victoriana, art nouveau and art deco items and the shop aims to provide something for everyone’s taste and budget where you can find original and unusual items that are very different from the usual high street stuff.

“I pride myself on bringing good quality at affordable prices.”

Ms Barnes says that the building, which has been totally redecorated inside and out, suits what the shop is about.

“It is finding individual items for the home,” she said. “I have done quite a lot of travelling and my inspiration also comes through interior design which I really like.

“I think that there are a lot of generic items on the high street but people are now looking for something a little bit special.

“I think that Montague Street seems to be on an upward curve and there is going to be a new Italian deli opening over the road.

“There are a few second hand antique shops and also a book shop so hopefully it will become a destination for quality items.

“I am worried about the high street dying and do not want that. I also do not want us to become a faceless society. There is nothing more important than going into a shop and receiving really good customer service where you can touch things and look at items properly.

“Having independent local shops is the way to go- we look out for each other. You will not be selling the same product and you are not going to be under cutting people.