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‘It’s down to all of us to make a change’ - Shop owner’s plea to get out on high street

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:22 29 October 2020

Matt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Matt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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“It’s down to all of us to make a change.”

Annatar Lowestoft Shop locally campaign Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANAnnatar Lowestoft Shop locally campaign Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

That is the message from a shop owner who believes more people should be using a coastal town’s historic high street.

Matt Wade, 44, is the co-owner of Annatar, a gift shop located on Lowestoft’s historic high street which specialises in selling everything from Yankee Candles to incense and jewellery.

Mr Wade believes that Lowestoft’s historic high street has great potential for the future but that potential can only come about if people change their mindset about the high street and footfall increases.

Mr Wade has co-owned the business with his wife for six years and the business has been running for 24 years after being established in 1996.

Matt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANMatt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

This paper’s Shop Local campaign is highlighting local businesses and asking readers to support their independents in the run up to Christmas, with conditions at their toughest.

Talking about the importance of the Shop Local campaign, Mr Wade said: “This town has a great historic high street that people need to take advantage of.

“But instead you get people moaning on Facebook groups about the high street, and we need to knock that negativity on the head.

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“I think in an age of online shopping people have become somewhat lazy, relying on the click of a button to purchase something.

“Lowestoft’s historic high street has so much to offer. We have independent businesses, cafes and specialist shops. It’s all just a matter of coming out and finding them.”

Mr Wade went on to say that small independent businesses like his offer loyal customers an experience, something they don’t get shopping online.

He said: “Our shop is unique in the sense that it still caters to a niche, loyal customer base.

Matt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANMatt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“Not only are we contributing to the economy of the local high street, our store offers customers an experience they can’t get online.

“We are a tactile shop, customers want to see our products such as incense and candles. There is always a risk if you shop online.

“Use us or lose us is what I say. The shop has been established for 24 years and we have owned it for six.

“I feel like Lowestoft’s high street is evolving. More and more independent businesses have opened since the pandemic.

Matt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANMatt Wade, owner of Annatar shop in Lowestoft speaks to us about the importance of shopping locally. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“If we can change our shopping habits as a town our high street would thrive. It is down to all of us to make a change.”


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