Store boss angry as power cut hits sale

A department store boss is angry after a power cut ruined the first day of his summer sale.Most of family store Bakers and Larners at Holt was left without electricity all day Saturday - along with other shops in the Market Place area.

A department store boss is angry after a power cut ruined the first day of his summer sale.

Most of family store Bakers and Larners at Holt was left without electricity all day Saturday - along with other shops in the Market Place area.

Boss Michael Baker had to shut down the food hall, and could only serve customers in the rest of the store using cash and by writing down bar codes by hand.

'It must have lost us �30,000. We had to shut the food hall because of the tills and freezers, but luckily could move some products across to our Budgens store nearby.


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'Parts of the store had no light, and we had staff standing by stairs to ensure customers' safety. And we had to pacify customers who had come especially for the sale,' he added.

Mr Baker was angry because the problem happened at 10am and it was almost midnight before repairs were made, devastating a whole day's trading on a sunny day when the town was packed and the store was starting its three-week summer sale.

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'I told EDF, and hoped that with so many properties off they would treat it seriously, but they said they were in Norwich dealing with another problem.

'It was lunchtime before someone came, but only to assess rather than mend. A crew eventually turned up at 5.30pm and we were reconnected at about 11.30pm.'

Mr Baker bemoaned the level of service from the electricity company, and the difficulty in getting through to anybody in authority to complain.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: 'We have to prioritise work according to safety, the number of customers affected and how long they have been without power. On this occasion the team was first required to finish another job which it was already working on, to restore power to other customers. We also had to apply for legal permission to start excavation work.'

Power was lost to four customers because of a fault on an underground cable, and EDF arranged for a specialist excavation team to attend as soon as possible to tackle what emerged to be a complicated repair.

Engineers were back on site today to complete a permanent repair to ensure reliable supplies in future.

EDF apologised for any inconvenience, but added it always encouraged customers who relied on power for commercial reasons, to arrange back-up supplies such as a generator.

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