Sidmouth shops are 'falling like dominoes' says businessman, after two more announce closure
PUBLISHED: 11:38 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:13 08 June 2018
Sidmouth shops are 'falling like dominoes', says a town centre businessman, following the announcement of two more closures.
This week, Pure Indulgence, in Fore Street, announced that it would be closing down in April next year.
The Hospiscare charity shop, in Fore Street, shut unexpectedly last week.
In the past six months, NatWest bank and Carinas have closed, while Govier’s of Sidmouth is set to become an online-only business.
Earlier this year, New Look also revealed it was looking at potentially making cutbacks to its Sidmouth branch, likely to result in its closure.
A sign in Pure Indulgence’s window said: “Due to the size of our stock and future orders we are already committed to, our final day of trading will be on our 14th year anniversary - April 2019.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support and custom over the past 14 years.”
A sign in the Hospiscare shop window said: “Your nearest Hospiscare shops are in Seaton, Budleigh, Exmouth, Honiton and Ottery. Thank you so much for your support over the years. Your donations and purchases have helped provide care for many local patients and their families.”
The news comes mere weeks after an urgent meeting was called with MP Sir Hugo Swire to talk about issues crippling the town’s high street, before it is too late.
Among the topics discussed were parking, business rates, internet shopping and a change in footfall.
Steve Clarke, of The Rendezvous in Fore Street, said: “Shops are falling like dominoes. This is what people come to Sidmouth for - the independent shops - they want something different. I wonder how many more are going to fall.”
Sir Hugo vowed to send to surveys to Sidmouth’s independent retailers so he could take their concerns to Whitehall for a Government review on business rates. These were set to be sent out this week, after a delay was caused by changes in data protection laws.
Sir Hugo said: “The challenges to small, independent shops on our high streets are well-known and I am naturally very sorry to see any shop close.
“However, I urge all the retailers in the town to fill in and return my survey as they arrive over the next week in order for us to get a better understanding of the problems and to work out the best solutions.”
Sidmouth’s MP Sir Hugo Swire will be speaking about business rates in Parliament on Wednesday at 9.30am.
Click here to watch him live.