Competition from Screwfix and Poundstretcher forces independent business Wilby’s Home Hardware to close Diss store

WIlby's Home Hardware can be seen in the corner. Photo from Google Street View.

WIlby's Home Hardware can be seen in the corner. Photo from Google Street View. - Credit: Google Street View.

An independent, family-run business has been forced to close one of its stores, saying it has been priced out of the market by national retailers.

After being open for just three years, Wilby's Home Hardware in Diss ceased trading at the end of January.

The main reason, its owners said, was because it could no longer compete with the larger DIY stores in the town, such as Screwfix.

Despite the Diss store not being a viable business for Wilby's Home Hardwares, on the whole the family business is doing well - with the Brandon store recently relocating to new larger premises.

Carl Wilby, owner and director of Wilby's Home Hardwares, said: 'It's a shame about our Diss store but it just didn't work out for us there.

'Basically everything we stocked, Screwfix and Poundstretcher would then sell cheaper.'

The Wilby family opened their first shop in Brandon in 2007.

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Remaining independent but working with the Home Hardware group, the family opened their Diss store in 2014.

Mr Wilby said the family chose to open a second business in Diss because they lived nearby.

After the closure of the large DIY store Godfreys, the family saw potential for a small, start-up operation.

Concentrating on paint, the business also sold an extensive range of DIY products - everything from nuts and bolts to fixings, tools and more general materials for use in the home and garden.

However despite trying sales and various offers to tempt customers into the store, the business failed to compete with the nearby larger stores who were able to undercut them on price.

Elsewhere in the town, the cookware, DIY and garden equipment store Larter and Ford echoed Mr Wilby's comments about the impact of discount stores.

Carl Edwards, owner of Larter and Ford, was optimistic and felt the business catered to their niche within the high street.

'We have ups and downs, some good days some not and weekdays can be patchy,' he said.

'But being on the high street protects us a little and people know that we stock slightly more specific products.'

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