Popular Cromer discount store to close this Christmas
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a well-used discount store is 'gutted' after the business will have to close because of a town centre development.
Bob Holiday, administrator of H.K. Clearance Depot on Church Street, Cromer, said the shop which sells cleaning goods to Christmas decorations will cease trading on December 31 despite being 'viable'.
He and his wife, Heather, a partner in the business, were told the lease would not be renewed by the north Norfolk-based landlord Monument Group a year ago because the site was being rebuilt and extended.
H.K Clearance Depot has been on Church Street for 17 years and there was another shop, with the same name, on Garden Street, Cromer, until 10 years ago. The business has been in the town for about 30 years.
Mr Holiday, who described the situation as very sad, said: 'We have exhausted all possible legal avenues and there is nothing we can do about it. We tried to set up for a court case but at the end of the day the odds were not in our favour. We felt it was stupid to follow a lost cause.'
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The six full-time and two part-time staff were told about the closure last month and he said they felt 'disheartened'.
'We intended to carry on if we had been able to renew the lease. We are gutted it is the end of a long-running and viable business,' Mr Holiday added. 'We have a very loyal customer base and we want to say thank you. People are distraught we are closing. H.K. Clearance Depot has become a vital part of the community and from the comments we are getting it is going to be sorely missed.'
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Shoppers come from as far as Lowestoft and Peterborough to the store which concentrates on service rather than profit, according to Mr Holiday.
The businessman does not know what he will do after the shop closes and looked for alternative sites for the clearance store, without success.
Tracey Khalil, president of Cromer and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: 'It is very sad to see any business close particularly one that has been trading for such a long time and is in such a prominent position.'
The plan to build a two-storey and single-story extension to the back of the shop, put in a new shop front, and fill in the archway next to the building was approved by North Norfolk District Council in 2010.