Recession hits Sidmouth Florist

RISING prices, a strong Euro and lack of bank backing has meant another Sidmouth shop has closed its doors.

RISING prices, a strong Euro and lack of bank backing has meant another Sidmouth shop has closed its doors.

In the week Prime Minister Gordon Brown was telling the TUC Britain was coming out of the recession, The Sidmouth Florist, Church Street, shut on Saturday, after six years trading in the town.

Although upset at the enforced closure, owner Christine Drew is being positive and will embark on an ambitious project to restructure and concentrate on undertaking specialist floral work, such as weddings, funerals and business events.

Although she has "plenty of work", costs have spiralled for Mrs Drew, with the high Euro - many of her blooms come from Holland - falling demand for luxury items and now lack of support from her bank.


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"We are getting hit on all fronts," said husband Paul, an IT expert, who helps his wife on a voluntary basis.

"We can't get any support from the bank and that is the final straw."

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Christine has been working flat out to try and keep the shop open, and since her assistant Kelly left a year ago, it has been impossible to get out and look for new business.

Paul said: "The exchange rate with the Euro is making cut flowers ever more expensive. Retail running costs continue to rise and customer demand is continuing to fall.

"Many small businesses have exhausted their options to control the situation and need to take what appears to be dramatic action."

The couple have three children aged 12 and under in school and have no plans to leave Sidmouth. Instead Christine will be mobile, operating The Sidmouth Florist from 07803 926 963.

She said: "It is very upsetting. I have never worked so hard in my life, I just feel it has all been taken away.

"It is a labour-intensive business and people don't understand the costs associated with running a delivery service."

Christine, who said it cost a lot to spend three years becoming qualified, said supermarkets and card shops offering flower delivery services were killing off traditional florists.

She knows six or seven florists who have been through the same situation.

"Next time you pick up supermarket flowers spare a thought for dedicated florists who spend long, hard hours training."

She added: "I am looking at options of where to trade from but it is unlikely to be a shop.

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