With Tesco’s store looming in 2013 and internet shopping on the rise, Sheringham’s traders have been urged to “work together” to keep the town centre’s heart beating strongly.

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Sheringham Chamber of Trade has issued a clarion call to traders to stay one step ahead of the double threat to their viability.

Chamber secretary Andy Bullen said: “Shops have to change. They can’t just stay as they are.”

And the public is being urged to get behind them by choosing to shop in independent high street shops - rather than opt for superstores or online purchases.

Mr Bullen said: “You can’t stop things happening. People will decide what they want to do. Some people might decide they want to get a penny off a tin of beans.

“But it’s not a level playing field. Internet traders’ business rates are lower, they can purchase in bulk, they don’t have to worry about car parking fees.

“More and more, customers are using high street shops as a viewing platform to look at a product and decide whether to buy it online.

“We want the traders and businesses to work closely together with the local authorities to promote the town and to think outside the box in a changing retail world.”

He added: “If it continues, there is a danger that Sheringham will lose its character. People come here because it is special - not because it is just like where they came from.”

Barry Starling, chamber chairman, said: “It’s time to sell Sheringham to residents and visitors to make them aware of the positive things.

“It has the best beaches on the north Norfolk coast, a traditional town centre, good car parking and easy access to the shops.”

He added: “It’s not a clone town. It is unique - and needs to stay that way for it to remain special.”

Mr Starling suggested charging points for mobility scooters, better access to shops and better information about car parking and town attractions.

He also thought it was possible for traders to get together to offer money off when shoppers bought linked products from their stores.

He added: “We shouldn’t be embarrassed to sell Sheringham in every way. It’s a fantastic town.”

But he warned: “If you look into the future and all the independent shops have closed in Sheringham, Cromer, Holt, North Walsham and Fakenham, you will end up with clone stores everywhere.”

Mr Bullen said the double call had been made in order to “get reaction”, and added: “We want people’s feedback. What do consumers and retailers think about what needs to be done?”

Mr Starling said: “Ultimately, this is about keeping Sheringham unique. And cooperation is the key. We have to work together for one single aim - to make this the place to work, shop, live and enjoy.”

18 comments

  • the traders dont want towns to have supermarkets but so many can be seen doing their own shop in supermarkets elsewhere -- i agree they need to look at how to lure people in

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • They're fighting a losing battle here and I quite agree with Karen. Also local business rates are far too high to encourage independent shops.

    Report this comment

    micklynn

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • I think we get a story like this from chamber of trade every 6 months or so for the last decade... Sheringham has got some great shops that offer good quality products at an affordable price, these shops have nothing to worry about as tesco moves in. but there are others which pretty much think we owe them a living, unless there attitude changes then maybe there is some concern. I look forward to using tesco, AND supporting local shops.

    Report this comment

    Callum Ringer

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Both Holt and Sheringham have too many charity shops and gift shops selling cheap tat from abroad. Neither place is moving with the times. There are just one or two good shops left in Sheringham which I use. Holt I seldom visit now because it is not for locals, purely for holidaymakers. Personally I'm looking forward to Tesco at Sheringham because I always get excellent service and products at their Fakenham branch so now I have a choice of stores. Contrast this with the most sour-faced and unhelpful butcher in Sheringham a few weeks ago when I decided to "shop local".

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • In business there is no such thing as fair competition. Ultimately, those companies and businesses that can't or are unable to change will fail. That said, the need to up the anti can be as simple as adjusting opening hours and making sure that customer facing staff are well presented and customer focused. Many smaller retailers employ individuals who give the impression that the customer owes them a job. In addition a sultry attitude and in many cases rudeness seem to be a common factor in a number of 'local' businesses. Whilst, a smaller retailer may not always be able to compete as closely on price as larger competitors ensuring that the customer leaves the shop feeling valued can make a very big difference as to whether that customer ever returns. Perhaps more of the smaller retailers ought to take note?

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • some sensible comments posted.. Sheringham must learn to adapt to survive. Do they really believe that no-one in Sheringham shops in a supermarket already? If they do they are very very wrong.

    Report this comment

    paddler

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • But Tufty if 70pc of residents don't shop in Holt shouldn't you think about how to change that rather than burying your head in the sand and stopping new retailers?

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Traders will need to think beyond price point. Many offer poor service, poor advice,poor quality products and yet expect folk to wonder through their door and spend their hard earned cash. Traders will need to be innovative and diverse in their offering. has anyone actually asked the residents what they want? Or indeed the summer tourists? If you don't know what your target market wants how can you provide it? I can't believe it's simply cheaper prices.

    Report this comment

    Gary Dickenson

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • They are going to kill these these towns, which in the case of Sheringham it may be a good thing as the car movement and parking in Station Rd and Church St is horrendous and make it a no-go area for a large part of the year. If the council want to keep these streets and towns alive then for goodness sake pedestrianise part them.

    Report this comment

    Old Long Balls

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Perhaps now some shops will stop closing for lunch, and "half day" Wednesday. They need to "up their game" on customer service. One of the biggest Anti Tesco shops has given me some terrible service in the past.

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Lets just say I’m sitting here in Aylsham, or it could be Cromer or Holt or anywhere! I want to shop local but I want to look and find out about you before I shop, I need to know what you sell and I need incentive to come and see you, the incentive doesn’t have to be financial! So here’s the challenge. Who in Sheringham has a website, if not why not (a really basic one is better than none at all) and if you do then for goodness sake say so here, its your chance! Maybe you could give us a voucher code on it too, that would be even better! although of course not altogether necessary. If not could you offer a telephone ordering service if you can use this space to tell us! Do you have a mailing list you could add me too? What else do you want to tell me about your business, I don’t know if you don’t tell me, you wanted feedback… Now you give us some feedback, this is your chance! Wishing you all well Traders of Sheringham.

    Report this comment

    Sammy Seal

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Its not a case of using the town centre, its the case of being able to afford to use the town centre!! Online shopping and supermarkets are alot cheaper to use, especially in this economic climate. Traditional shops are sadly too expensive for the normal person on the streets. Holidaymakers can afford to use them but people living in Norfolk find its just too expensive what with fuel prices, bus fares and lack of employment.

    Report this comment

    Karen Henry

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Totally agree with many of the comments. How about NNDC reducing parking fees as well as rates? Get more footfall, get more bums on seats=business. Many shop owners need to take a good look at themselves. Poor service will drive the clientele away everyone. The public will always pay extra for good service, so come on shopkeepers, raise your game, and the income will come.

    Report this comment

    jeffy

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • "Some people might decide they want to get a penny off a tin of beans." Well done Mr Bullen, that's exactly the sort of patronising attitude Sheringham needs.

    Report this comment

    a_chilly_seal

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • The simple fact is that in these austere times many people have tight budgets to adhere to which can't always be met by using independents.

    Report this comment

    It's_all_a_conspiracy

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • ..... and then, in their wisdom, Holt Town Council vote to approve a supermarket on the edge of town, completely ignoring the pleas being made by the Chamber of Trade. Maybe its time for all the local Chamber's of Trade to unite in promoting local shopping throughout the area.

    Report this comment

    Tufty

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • In business there is no such thing as fair competition. Ultimately, those companies and businesses that can't or are unable to change will fail. That said, the need to up the anti can be as simple as adjusting opening hours and making sure that customer facing staff are well presented and customer focused. Many smaller retailers employ individuals who give the impression that the customer owes them a job. In addition a sultry attitude and in many cases rudeness seem to be a common factor in a number of 'local' businesses. Whilst, a smaller retailer may not always be able to compete as closely on price as larger competitors ensuring that the customer leaves the shop feeling valued can make a very big difference as to whether that customer ever returns. Perhaps more of the smaller retailers ought to take note?

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Much has been said about the supermarket that is eramarked for Holt but once again it boils down to affordability. At present, Holt is pretty much monopolised by Mr Michael Baker and his assorted businesses so there is no possibility for competition. An example of pricing: a 200g tin of tomato puree at 23 supermarkets is 25p-35p yet in Budgens in Holt it is £1.25-£1.50....price matched with who I wonder.......Larners by any chance as it's not Tesco. The problem with chambers of trade is that they are full of self interest and not the interest of residents for the most part. For Sheringham, a supermarket is what was needed but all the wrangling and pettiness between protesters, councilors and chamber of trade just ensured that Tesco will be situated in the wrong place completely. Not everybody is in the £50k and beyond wage bracket which seems to be the only ones Holt and Sheringham businesses are interested in.

    Report this comment

    spencer shackcloth

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

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