Cornish clothing company to fill Sidmouth shop

Businesses are relieved to find that a national chain will not be moving into an empty shop in Sidmouth.

Instead, a family-run clothing company from Cornwall is moving into the Stead and Simpson shop, which closed two weeks ago today.

Speculation had been rife that the property was going to be taken over by a large franchise such as Carphone Warehouse, WH Smith, White Stuff or Caf� Nero.

Penzance-based Seasalt has signed the lease and hopes to open its 14th and most easterly store at the Fore Street site before the end of the year.

Managing director David Chadwick said: “We’ve always loved Sidmouth – the people are so welcoming there - we have been looking for a suitable site for years.”

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The company was set up in 1981, and now the siblings and their partners all pitch in to integrate the shops into the community, organising events with the school and sea shanty choirs.

Sue Coennel-White, from Moshulu, said: “WH Smith would’ve taken the little businesses out, which would’ve been a shame. It’s still a chain but it’s not a big business.”

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Laura Wheaton, from neighbouring business Thorntons said: “It’s great news for me that it’s not WH Smith. I think it’ll do well in Sidmouth, we’re calling out for shops like that.”

Barbara Cameron, from fellow clothing company Fat Face, said: “It’s better than looking at an empty shop, and it’s definitely better than a Carphone Warehouse!”

She doesn’t think Seasalt is a competitor to Fat Face, but will in fact bring more customers to the area.

Seasalt is one of the larger employers in Cornwall and plans to offer seven positions at its Sidmouth shop.

CVs can be posted through the door to be considered for the posts.

Letting agent Richard Heard expects the shop fitting to begin next month.

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