“Heartbroken”: Berrys and Grey owner discusses store closure

PUBLISHED: 12:59 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 01 March 2019

Berrys & Grey will close in March. Photo by Emily Revell

Berrys & Grey will close in March. Photo by Emily Revell

Emily Revell

The owner of Norwich’s Berrys and Grey has spoken of her heartbreak over the closure of her shop and loss of her staff.

However she says its closure is a business decision, vital to the evolution of the brand which now makes the vast majority of its sales online.

Nicole Pugh, 33, said: “It’s heartbreaking, but I had to make a sensible business decision. It wasn’t viable to keep the shop anymore when 70% of the stock was coming in and then going straight back out in online sales.

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Berry and Grey lifestyle emporium, Royal Arcade, Norwich. Nicole Pugh. Photo: Steve AdamsBerry and Grey lifestyle emporium, Royal Arcade, Norwich. Nicole Pugh. Photo: Steve Adams

“The hardest part was telling my two members of staff, they’re such hard-workers. They’ll be snapped up quickly and their new team will be lucky to have them.”

A sale on in-store items, offering up to 50pc off large items and other home, gift and paint lines is currently taking place ahead of the store’s closure in March.

Ms Pugh opened her first shop in Cornwall before launching a second in Norwich in 2012.

In 2013 the shop moved into the city’s Royal Arcade, where it has remained ever since.

In 2017 she closed her shop in Cornwall to save commuting between the two branches.

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The company will continue to operate out of Norwich online, with Ms Pugh hoping to launch pop-up shops and increase the amount of collaborations the brand works on.

“We have to evolve if we want the brand to survive. You look at the high street and half the units are empty, there are so many costs with business rates, rent, and services,” she continued.

She added: “I think in a few years the trend of online shopping will come around and people will actually want to see what they’re buying – shops will be a novelty.”

“When I started this it was just me, but since then I’ve been bogged down in the administration and the rotas and bills. It’ll be nice to start doing the more creative side of it myself again,” Ms Pugh continued.

The brand has a huge social media following, with near 40,000 visitors on Instagram.

“Ever since I announced we were closing the store and going online there’s just been an outpouring from our customers. The messages have been so lovely and heartfelt, we can’t thank them enough,” Ms Pugh said.

Ms Pugh encouraged customers to follow the business on Instagram to keep up with their upcoming events and collaborations.

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