Closing Sheringham deli owner says Brexit 'wave of emotion' weakened high streets
PUBLISHED: 16:51 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 30 January 2019
The owner of a Sheringham deli facing its last day of trading has hit out at Brexit for weakening the region's high streets.
Mark Wood said he has been working “seven days a week for three years” to make a success of his speciality high street food shop, Town Deli, in the coastal town of Sheringham.
But the former further education teacher said he had been driven out of business after being unable to afford to replace staff, due to public uncertainty over the UK’s upcoming exit from the European Union on March 29.
Mr Wood, from Sheringham, said: “There’s been eight other food establishments open in the past three years in Sheringham and all of them to a certain extent are reliant on the tourist industry.
“I don’t think there’s enough to go around. I’ve had to make a decision to shut early.”
Mr Wood claimed coach parties visiting the town weren’t being told about shops further down the high street, and weren’t spending money there.
He said: “I know Tesco had an effect for the previous owners.
“I’ve watched my cheese counter and speciality products go up by 30pc - margins get smaller.”
The 50-year-old added: “You look at the whole picture and costs for the future and you have to make a decision as to whether it’s sustainable.
“When you add in Brexit as well, it just made a majority of the public very nervous.
“I talked to other shopkeepers and it was almost like a wave of emotion that went down the high street.
“I get written to regularly by a number of suppliers who say they’re trying to future-proof but they don’t know prices.”
Mr Wood said he didn’t know what he planned to do after the shop’s closure, and said: “I’ve worked seven days a week for three years.
“I’ve ploughed a lot of my life into it to make it a success, and that has not quite panned out.
“I may return to education where I worked before but I need to take stock first.
“It got to the point where staff left and I didn’t replace them.”
Town Deli’s premises are listed for sale on Daltons Business portal, for a leasehold of £65,000.
The site states: “Established in 2008, the business has experienced steady growth and successfully generated high annual takings in the region of £151,000.”
Has your north Norfolk business been affected by Brexit? Email reporter Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk