Search

Lowestoft shopping survey results

PUBLISHED: 21:49 03 July 2011

EDP reporters took to the streets of Lowestoft to discover how the high street was faring in tough economic times.

Here is what shopkeepers had to say:

Annatar - gift shop in London Road North, Lowestoft. Owned by David and Dawn Palmer

How long has your shop been open?

Between 10 and 20 years (15)

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes – but only in a different climate

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has decreased in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

We need lower rates, maybe help with National Insurance contributions. We couldn’t afford to keep staff on because of all the various costs. We’re always hearing about schemes the Gov has for small business, but we never see the benefit

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

Yes

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes – they have had a huge impact on all town centres. We’re selling something that’s a bit different but we’ve certainly seen footfall go down.

Holgates - men’s clothing store in London Road North. Owned by William Pettit

How long has your shop been open?

More than 20 years.

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes – but not at the moment. At the moment, if I’m honest, it’s a nightmare. I’m making less money now than when I took over in 1996. It’s not easy.

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has decreased in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

There needs to be better parking. You can pay £4 to park here.

The council could put more on at this end of town. The Lowestoft air show is great, but it takes everyone to the seafront so it’s dead up here.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

No – it’s not a clone town because we don’t have those big major shops here. There’s hardly anything at all. If I take the family to Norwich it’s a day out. It takes five minutes to walk around Lowestoft town centre.

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes – with supermarkets shoppers don’t have to worry about parking. It’s the same at big shopping malls.

Poppies Tea Room - tea room and café in Regent Road, Lowestoft. Owned by Bob McMillan.

How long has your shop been open?

Under five years – opened in August 2008, just as the recession first took hold

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes – we thought about it for a long time. It’s not a spur of the moment decision and we had the savings to do it and we’re still here. Yes, I’d recommend it.

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has remained steady in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

I think the VAT increase was a mistake. Smaller businesses need help and making them pay VAT when they start making more than £78,000 takes away from all the hard work. I think VAT should be accumulative so you pay more as you’re business becomes more successful.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

No, I don’t think it’s too bad in Lowestoft. It’s a healthy mix.

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

No

Sansoms - florists in Milton Road, Lowestoft. Owned by Jane Ward.

How long has your shop been open?

More than 20 years – store has been in Lowestoft since 1946

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has increased in the past 18 months – telephone orders are up, but footfall is down

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

Free parking after 3pm like they have in Great Yarmouth. It encourages families to come in after school.

Lower VAT & reduced business rates. We still have to pay for things like bin collections.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

No

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes – Tesco’s cut flowers have had a huge impact

Kiss - hair salon in London Road North, Lowestoft.

How long has your shop been open?

Between 10 and 20 years

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has remained steady in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

Free parking in town centre

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

No

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

No

High-tech - Gadget, gift and watch repair shop in London Road North, Lowestoft. Owned by Tony Wood.

How long has your shop been open?

More than 20 years

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has decreased in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

The council could put more events on in the town centre. Being able to park for free would also encourage more people into town.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

Yes

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes – the opening hours, the easy parking and the fact that everything is under one roof makes them attractive to shoppers.

Lowestoft Electrical - electrical appliance store in London Road North. Manager Matthew Archer.

How long has your shop been open?

More than 20 years

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes, maybe not a good idea to set up a new business in this climate but I would encourage people to do it.

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has remained steady in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

No

If no, what measures would help?

Parking could be improved and rates reduced. Especially after something like the bascule bridge closure. That created huge problems for the town and it has taken a long time to recover.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

Yes – there are certainly fewer and fewer independents opening up.

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes

Oregano - health food shop in London Road North, Lowestoft. Owned by Dawn Fellous.

How long has your shop been open?

More than 20 years

Would you recommend opening a small shop to someone else?

Yes

Which of the following statements is most true?

Trade has increased in the past 18 months

Do you believe the government does enough to support small, independent shops?

Yes - I think the whole purpose of setting up is to go it alone. You can do more to help yourself.

Would you describe your town/city centre as a “clone town” with more chain stores then independent ones?

Yes – certainly along the main high street it’s all chain shops

Do you feel supermarkets have negatively impacted on your trade?

Yes, certainly compared to when we started up but you have to progress and find a niche if you want to survive. Being an independent is responding to the climate. You have to search for something the supermarkets don’t do.



Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists