Family store in Dereham is saved from closure by friendly rival of 60 years
- Credit: Ian Burt
A landmark shop which has been a feature of its town for 60 years is being given a new lease of life after being bought by a former friendly rival.
Philip Morter, of Bennetts Electricals in Dereham, announced the independent electricals shop would be closing in June this year.
But a lifeline was thrown by Paul Adcock, of Adcock & Sons in Watton, who offered to take on the business.
While being a mutually beneficial arrangement, it was also a chance for Mr Adcock to thank Mr Morter for supporting his 104-year-old family store during its own financial difficulties in 2012.
The Adcock team are hoping the shop in Norwich Road will be open by the end of October.
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Mr Morter and wife Jennifer, who took the decision to close the shop due to a 'prohibitive' business rates increase, are very positive about the new merger.
Mr Morter said: 'Adcocks of Watton are one of the best respected Euronics dealers in the area. We have always got on very well in business together over the last two generations and helped each other out when needed.
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'We've reached an amicable agreement which should benefit all our existing customers, because we know Adcocks will continue to serve them well as we have done over the past 60 years.
He added: 'We are pleased Adcocks are taking over so we can reassure our customers that we are doing the best we can to ensure the service we have always given.'
Mr Adcock said it was a 'major step forward' for his family business, which was helped by Bennetts after being left in financial difficulties a few years ago.
'We are both small family businesses with family values. We have expanded the shop in Watton over the years and when Philip approached us, we had a good think.
'Having thought about the kind of customers Bennetts attracted, who like the family business and personal service that we can give, we felt with the size of the shop it was a great opportunity to come to Dereham.
'We welcome the opportunity to continue the tradition the Bennetts had and hopefully to progress it further.'
Existing Adcocks staff member Gavin Collison is to be installed as manager of the Dereham shop with other team members to be hired.
Adcocks staff are in the process of writing to all customers on Bennetts' records to notify them to the shop's change of hands. All letters will also enclose an introductory offer.
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