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'Some of us can't afford Joules' - Holt criticised for unaffordable shops

PUBLISHED: 13:58 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 February 2019

Residents in Holt have said high street shops are

Residents in Holt have said high street shops are "too expensive". Photo: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

Archant

A Holt resident said shops in the town are "too expensive" after a poll revealed almost two thirds of people think Norfolk has too many second-hand stores.

The debate was sparked by news a new PACT shop is set to open in an empty unit in Holt on March 3, leaving some residents dismayed.

Mum-of-two Cheryl Waugh said: “The problem we have is there are no places here to buy reasonably priced clothes from, especially for children and school uniform.”

She added: “To be honest, I find that even some of the charity shops are too expensive for me.

“Some of us can’t afford to buy clothes in Joules - we’ve not all moved up here from London.”

A new PACT charity shop is opening in Holt, near Budgens supermarket. Photo: JONO READA new PACT charity shop is opening in Holt, near Budgens supermarket. Photo: JONO READ

It comes as a poll of our readers revealed 64pc of respondents think there are too many charity shops in our county - and agreed they affect small business owners.

However, 36pc of respondents disagreed, and said they thought Norfolk’s range of charity shops offered great options for ethical and eco-friendly bargains, while a charity retail spokesperson defended the “huge social value” offered by the sector.

But Mrs Waugh, 45, added: “Our nearest places for kids clothes are Cromer and Fakenham, both of which have M&Co - not cheap.

“Holt and Cromer both have Mountain Warehouse - only a handful of kids things.

“Fakenham has the factory clearance shop and Tesco but they only have a handful of kids things.

“Norwich is a 60 mile round trip for places like Primark.

“I don’t like to order children’s clothes online as they are always growing and sizes vary so much.”

And Gary Mitchell, from Holt, said: “No wonder business rates are so high for everyone else.

“I have friends in retail in Holt, and they often complain that high rates means high prices leading to less business.”

Mr Mitchell, 65, who works in retail in Aylsham and in Holt, added: “What happened to Holt - a wealthy Georgian town?

“Obviously not seeing as it’s full of charity shops.”

A spokesperson for the Charity Retail Association (CRA) said: “Charity shops provide huge social value to communities.

“They are a place to recycle goods, which helps the environment, provide volunteer and employment opportunities, plus raise money for charity.

“We welcome the news a charity shop has taken on an empty unit in Holt, which will increase footfall and benefit all businesses in the town.”

What do you think about shops in your north Norfolk town? Email reporter Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk

READ MORE: ‘Who wants John Lewis?’ - Do you think north Norfolk has too many charity shops?

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