Long-running York shop Choice Select has closed its doors for good.

The city’s only specialist tobbaconist, its last trading day was Saturday (December 15).


Selling cigars, tobacco, pipes and accessories, Choice Select was a retail staple on Coppergate for many years.

Posting on the shop Facebook page, owner John Terry called the last day “such a sad time, not many specialists left now”. He blamed business conditions for the closure:

  • Reasons are same as most other closures, rent, rates, internet – but also the extremely high duty.

    For example a £10 pack of cigs has £8.50 approx duty, so retailer makes 60p per packet before overheads and tax.

Many were saddened by the news. John Fuggle replied to the post: “Sad news as I enjoyed calling on you since you took over from Maurice. I wish you every success for the future and good luck.”

Another, Alan Featherstone wrote: “Sorry to hear. But you’re right, you can’t exist with heavy rates, duty and small profits. What’s the government going to do when they have killed golden cow?”

New online business

The shop window of Choice Select
John will continue to run his vaping shop at the bottom of Coppergate.

And he is taking his tobacco shop online at buyfortheguy.com.

The empty shop is being marketed by Blacks. It says the retail business has “a rateable value of £20,000 (shop and premises) producing a business rate liability for the 2018/19 financial year of £9,600”.

The lease rent is £22,500 per year.

It becomes the latest shop on Coppergate to fall vacant. Former DVD, CD and games shop That’s Entertainment closed in 2015 and is still empty, and has an asking rent of £75,000 per year.

Another shop closing

The High Ousegate Shoe Zone shop is closing
Elswhere in the city centre, Shoe Zone on High Ousegate is holding a closing down sale.

The footwear retailer says the store is relocating.

A spokeswoman told YorkMix: “We are unable to confirm the address of the relocation as we don’t have the confirmed details yet.”

She couldn’t say when the High Ousegate store’s final day would be.

Not all the retail news is gloomy. Toy shop The Entertainer opened on Coney Street last week.

Clothing brand Toast is to open a store on Stonegate. And the arrival of Hubble Bubble Tea meant that the Coppergate Shopping Centre was fully occupied.


York has established a retail taskforce, including the York BID (Business Improvement District), Make It York, City of York Council and York Retail Forum, looking into ways to help city shops to prosper.

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