Boutique owner's shop local plea as business takes 60pc hit
- Credit: Jan Moloney
A Norfolk shop owner says she has had to continually adapt following a difficult financial year and has called on people to support local businesses.
Jan Moloney, owner of Tickled Pink on the High Street in Downham Market, said she has been financially down by around 60pc this year.
The women’s boutique closed on Wednesday, December 23 ahead of the county's Tier 4 measures and Mrs Moloney said she may not reopen for a while but is still offering click and collect sales and her live videos to showcase her products.
She said: "Since the beginning of the first lockdown I have pushed hard to getting an e-commerce website, which enables me to also show the live videos of stock, which has thankfully been a major instigator of stock sales.
"To do this I have had to continually adapt. I have had a shop for 23 years and have never felt so uncertain of my income."
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The former nurse and midwife, who plans to apply to help with the vaccine roll-out, hopes to continue to run the shop part-time but believes the new measures will be in place for a while.
She said she also feels that her plea for people to support and shop local is falling "mostly on deaf ears".
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She added: "Initially I think as we are all aware people were generally very supportive and kind to each other.
"But the last six months despite doing my best to encourage sharing of information and businesses' posts, only a couple have joined in.
"People and businesses I think are mostly just looking out for themselves as things are so tough, but there doesn’t seem to be much concern generally for the well being of the high street.
"But business seems to be very insular, very different from two decades ago."
She said a "shop local task force" promoting the town and its shops as well as a more localised chamber of commerce would benefit businesses in the area.
She added: "The unfortunate fact is people vote with their feet and if they only want to shop online as things are at the moment, you won’t persuade them otherwise.
"Health is everything - that has to come first. My message is to stay safe, stay positive and cherish those around you. "