‘It may be a case of closing it down’ - Future of town’s jewellers uncertain
- Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske
The owner of a jewellers which reopened today has said that the next few months will decide the shop’s fate.
Terry Spellman, owner of Francis Jones Jewellers in North Walsham said the shop has lost £60,000 since lockdown began on March 23, and has blamed the government’s lockdown measures.
Mr Spellman said he could not understand why the two metre rule was still in place while a lot of other countries had reduced it to one, and said that lockdown had lasted too long.
He said: “We’ve lost over £60,000 so I will say that the next few months will decide what we’re going to do, it may be a case of closing it down, I’m semi-retired, I’m in my 70s.
“I can’t understand why we’ve had two metres apart, while the rest of the world is only one metre and why we had lockdown for three months, why the hell did we have that, when I’ve got a daughter who lives in Australia and they locked down there for just about a month? That’s all, it went too far. I’ve spent over £500 on all this protective equipment and we don’t need half of it.
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“I think by the end of the year there will be seven to eight million people unemployed and that is from the government. I think a hell of a lot of shops will close, all we’ve been doing is batteries because they’ve run down in lockdown.”
The jeweller said that it had not helped that market stalls were allowed to open before non-essential shops taking business away from them.
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He added: “We’ve had queues outside today, but tomorrow will be a different day. The thing is the market boys have had a headstart on us of three weeks because they were allowed to go on the market and sell batteries for about two or three quid there, but having said that they are not steel batteries like the ones we can offer.”
While the main rush since reopening has been made up of customers looking for batteries, Mr Spellman says the shop has a full stock of everything it offers and said that it was running as normal.