Plea to ‘use your local shops or lose them’ as Dereham craft shop closes
- Credit: Ian Burt
A mother and daughter are having to close the doors on their craft shop after eight years in Dereham after falling victim to dramatic changes in town centre.
Carol and Sara Lane say takings at Bead This, Craft That have fallen to unsustainable levels and despite new shops opening in the town footfall is now virtually non-existent.
They say next week will be their final week of trading at the Nunns Way shop.
'When we first opened there was much more business and I think the period when there were a lot of empty shops hit the town hard,' said Mrs Lane.
'I think shopping used to be a social event but now it has become just a necessity. People are shopping online or on television shopping channels for craft. They are not in Dereham.'
Her daughter Sara said Saturdays in Dereham used to be their busiest day but were now their worst.
'I know people with shops in Norwich and they are not doing any better so they are not going there,' she said.
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'Crafting is really popular still but there is a trend towards sewing and haberdashery and we would need to invest in that which we just can't do in today's financial climate.'
At one time the shop employed four additional staff and two tutors for workshops they used to run in an upstairs craft room.
But they have gradually had to let them all go, and after Mrs Lane broke her leg 18 months ago she has been unable to work in the shop, putting more pressure on her daughter.
'I have been working seven days a week and it is too much,' said Miss Lane. 'I can't afford to take a day off because of cost of staff cover and people are not spending the amounts they used to. We first noticed fewer credit card sales, then it was debit card sales falling, and then the notes went from £20s to £10s and £5s and now people are only spending their shrapnel.
'It is a shame and people have told us how much they will miss us but they don't realise what it takes to keep a shop going.
'My parting message would be to ask people to shop local. Use it or lose it. They should support the independents or they will all go under.'
Mrs Lane said they wanted to thank their local, regular customers for their support and the many challenges they have been asked to help with, particularly school projects.
'Sara, myself and our lovely staff have had great fun and will miss the daily banter and rapport that we have built up with our customers over the years,' she said.
Everything is half price in the shop until it closes at the end of next week.
How do you think this closure will affect the town? Do you run a town centre business and have noticed a fall in trade? Email firstname.lastname@example.org