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Town hit by 'devastating' shop closures as fourth business shuts its doors

PUBLISHED: 07:45 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:17 27 September 2019

Sheringham clothing shop Never Be Famous, which is the latest in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham clothing shop Never Be Famous, which is the latest in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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Sheringham has been hit by the sudden loss of yet another High Street business, after a clothing store shut its doors for good within a few days of cafe and pizzeria Rallentando closing down.

Sheringham confectionary shop Fudgetastic, which will be closing down Monday.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham confectionary shop Fudgetastic, which will be closing down Monday. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Opened by business partners Steve Collins and Adam Blythe in 2015, Never Be Famous sells tattoo art-inspired screen printed t-shirts, tops and outerwear.

However, because the company does most of its business online, Mr Collins said he decided to close the store and focus on a newly-opened base at North Walsham.

Sheringham restaurant owner Terry Butler, who says the closure of four High Street businesses are 'devastating' for the town.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham restaurant owner Terry Butler, who says the closure of four High Street businesses are 'devastating' for the town. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

"The shop was always more of a marketing tool for us, but I don't think trading in the high street is going to be the best set up for any company at the moment," he said.

"It is a shame to see what is happening in Sheringham in terms of closures, but, from our point of view, we want to concentrate on what we do well at."

Sheringham cafe and pizzeria Rallentando, which closed without warning at the weekend.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham cafe and pizzeria Rallentando, which closed without warning at the weekend. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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With greengrocers Hastings closing down in June after trading for more than 100 years in the town, and sweet shop Fudgetastic due to shut its doors on Monday, High Street is now heading towards winter with four empty shops within yards of each other.

Hastings greengrocers, which was the first in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLHastings greengrocers, which was the first in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Terry Butler, who owns High Street restaurant Crofters, said that after the disruption and loss of trade caused by the sinkhole that closed off the road for the whole of the summer season, business owners were angry and worried.

"It's devastating, if we are losing businesses it is going to stop people coming to Sheringham," he said. "It is hard enough with rising rent and rates and the sinkhole hasn't helped at all, so the thought of having a dead town is quite frightening."

Sheringham clothing shop Never Be Famous, which is the latest in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months. Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham clothing shop Never Be Famous, which is the latest in a string of High Street businesses to have closed down in the past few months. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham Chamber of Trade chairman Andrew Munden, who is general manager of the North Norfolk Railway, expected the empty shops to stay unoccupied until the beginning of next summer.

He said that tough conditions, including rising overheads and competition from online traders, meant traditional high street shops were under increasing pressure.

"Any high street closures are very disappointing, especially for a town like Sheringham that relies so much on independent traders," he added.

"The message I've been seeing from other places across the county is that there have been plenty of visitors over the summer but, in a time of uncertainty, people have been very prudent about how they have spent their money, which is something we have seen on the railway."

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