Staff at Diss shop blame poor trade for move

A Norfolk town centre shop has moved to a more central location due to a lack of passing trade at the previous premises.

Every Cloud, which sells silver jewellery, including bracelets, earrings and necklaces, opened in Mere Street, Diss on Monday after moving from St Nicholas Street, where the specialist shop had been based for 13 years.

However, shop employee Carol Hunsdon said passing trade was passing the store by in St Nicholas Street, confirming fears raised by councillors and traders in recent months that the area around Market Hill and St Nicholas Street was becoming increasingly cut off from the rest of the town centre.

She added: 'The narrow paths did not help us and it was just a small, dark shop.

'Trade just did not pick up and there did not seem to be any room for improvement. We did lots of different things, such as opening at different times, but the trade since we have reopened here in Mere Street has been much better and I think it is because people are going passed the door all the time.'

The situation has been a cause for concern with councillors, who fear shoppers do not venture any further than Mere Street because the bulk of the shops, including the Morrisons and Tesco stores, are at that end of the town.

One solution proposed has been to reverse the traffic in Mere Street and bring back two way traffic in Chapel Street, meaning more traffic would be heading towards the St Nicholas Street end of town.

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The town's Heritage Lottery Partnership is also hoping to secure lottery cash for the Market Hill and St Nicholas Street area of Diss, which has the Corn Hall theatre, Diss Museum and St Mary's Church, as well as 130 listed and historic buildings.

The aim is to promote the area as a 'Heritage Triangle' by identifying 12 key buildings for inclusion in a history trail of the area.

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