Sadly another independent shop in Horsham’s Carfax is to close. After 24 years at 24 Carfax The Cloth Store is closing down. A sign in the window from Mary Escott, the owner, attributes this to the sales not being able to pay the bills and the renewal of the lease being due.

Mary took re-opened the shop on the 21st of October having taken it on as a going concern from the previous owners. Councillor Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), then chairman of Horsham District Council, officially opened the store on the 11th of September 2013 with a ribbon cutting event. The West Sussex County Times report  and 25 second video is still available at the time of writing.

On its Facebook page Mary announced the launch of the new website on the 8th December 2013. A year to the day later it announced the impending closure of the shop.

What is not clear is whether the online presence will continue. certainly the domain name will have value. The stock clearance suggests that the online presence will also cease.

The Cloth Store
The Cloth Store

A conversation was overheard in the store that illustrates the cynicism associated with closing down sales these days; clearly the buying public are being mislead by such notices and assume it is just a stock clearance. Mary’s closing down sale really is a closing down sale as illustrated by this conversation:

  • Male Shopper, having been told there were none left: Will you be getting any more in?
  • Mary: No, this is a closing down sale.

Mary’s Facebook announcement on the 8th December 2014 reads:


After 24 years of trading from these premises, we have sadly decided not to renew our lease, as simply the sales are no longer able to help us pay the bills.
I would like to say a massive thank you for being loyal over the years. I also want to express my thanks to the staff that have been so fantastic and understanding during these difficult times.
You will see that some stock items have started to run low, we will try to offer you alternatives whilst stocks last. Our opening times may change but we will always try to continue to meet your requests so please do not hesitate to ask and please keep supporting us over the coming weeks.
Any specific enquiries please ask for Mary in the shop or email
Thank you

This site laments the closing of another independent store and wishes Mary and her staff the best wishes for the future. Horsham will miss you. In the meantime enjoy the photograph below from 2006 where the shop is supporting England’s World Cup football campaign with the flag in the top window, the second shot being taken from the first:

Waitrose 2006

The Cloth Store 2006

Online Cashback