One more independent retailer in Sidmouth set to close

Colin and Kylie Cramb outside Coles on Sidmouth High Street.

Colin and Kylie Cramb outside Coles on Sidmouth High Street. - Credit: Archant

Another one of the Sidmouth’s treasured independent shops has revealed plans to close down for good.

Colin and Kylie Cramb outside Coles on Sidmouth High Street.

Colin and Kylie Cramb outside Coles on Sidmouth High Street. - Credit: Archant

Coles, a cards and balloons shop in High Street, is the third trader to announce - amid pressures of rising costs - that it will soon be shutting.

Colin and Kylie Cramb, who have owned Coles for nearly three years and lived in the UK for a decade, spoke to the Herald this week and revealed their plans to pack up shop and move back to Australia - which is where they are both originally from.

The couple said there were a variety of reasons for their return, which they hoped would happen some time in the next year.

The first reason was the pull of their three children and four young grandchildren, and the second was because of the ‘rising costs’ of running an independent business in Sidmouth.

Colin and Kylie Cramb new owners of Coles in Sidmouth. Ref shs 30-16TI 5102. Picture: Terry Ife

Colin and Kylie Cramb new owners of Coles in Sidmouth. Ref shs 30-16TI 5102. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant


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Colin said: “Since Brexit, a lot of sellers have decided to increase their costs – especially imports.

“That has been one of the big issues.

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“One of the costs in the last couple of years is helium, which has risen by 70 per cent. The price of balloons has also risen by 25 to 30 per cent.

“You cannot put your prices up that much for your customers, so you have to pick up the cost yourself and you can only do that for so long.”

Colin and Kylie Cramb at Coles in Sidmouth. Ref shs 30-16TI 5102. Picture: Terry Ife

Colin and Kylie Cramb at Coles in Sidmouth. Ref shs 30-16TI 5102. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Colin said another reason was the footfall of spending customers in the town, which he believed had dropped in the past year.

He added: “It is bittersweet. I really wanted to stay a lot longer, but the real upside is that we get to see our family again - the pull to them is really strong.

“We are going to take a couple of months off when we get back to spend time with them and try and make up for lost time.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed having a business in this town and we cannot stress that enough. We will really miss Sidmouth.”

In the past six months. NatWest bank and Carinas have shut, but it is hoped the latter premises will reopen as a trendy eatery.

Govier’s of Sidmouth – which is opposite Coles - is also set to close and become an online-only business. New Look is also looking at potentially making cutbacks to its Sidmouth branch, likely to result in its closure.

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