Workers 'devastated' at shock closure of popular seaside shop
PUBLISHED: 12:10 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:40 06 September 2019
Staff at a north Norfolk branch of a popular confectionary chain have been left "heartbroken" after learning the shop is due to close down only when an estate agent arrived to put a 'to let' sign in the window.
Fudgetastic, in Sheringham, is one of 12 stores run by Yorkshire-based company John Bull, which will be closing the High Street shop on September 30 because of a fall in sales.
But shop manager Jane Flanagan, 57, and her assistant Kelly Mileham, 36, say they were not told of the company's plans until August 29, seven days after the estate agent's board went in the window.
"It's horrendous, we had to stand and look at the sign for a week before our area manager eventually came in and told us we were closing," Ms Flanagan said. "Not only have we both been left without a job, but we have also got customers who have been coming here for years and we feel really sad to let them down."
Takings had been hit by the Sheringham sinkhole, Ms Flanagan added, with customers put off by the noise of machinery and the "terrible smell of sewage".
"Until three or four weeks ago, we were between 25 and 50pc down," she explained. "I'm not naive, I understand business and the sinkhole has a huge impact on us, but I think there were things the company could have done to recoup their losses and keep the shop open. No doubt we will now end up with another charity shop or cafe."
Ms Mileham, who has worked part-time at Fudgetastic for eight years, felt both she and Ms Flanagan had been treated badly.
"We are devastated," she said. "Jane gets in at 6am to make fudge, she works seven days a week during the summer and the way we found out we are closing, well it just isn't the way to treat people who work for you."
John Bull, which began selling seaside rock at its Bridlington headquarters more than 100 years ago, also sells to wholesale customers via its Real Candy Co arm.
The company was approached for comment.