Use us or lose us: Greengrocers plea to Wincanton shoppers
The owner of greengrocers in both Wincanton and Castle Cary has issued a ‘use me or lose me’ plea to residents.
Julian Shave has run The Market Garden in Wincanton for the past five years.
He extended the business into Castle Cary 18 months ago.
However, due to plummeting trade of up to 30 per cent in the past 12 months, he now fears he will be forced to close the Wincanton shop.
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Mr Shave, 39, said: “Last year was the hardest it has ever been to survive. There’s just no anchor on the high street to draw the people in.
“I’ve set May as a deadline and then we’ll revalue it and see how trade is. I can’t keep ploughing my own money into this.
“We desperately need the help of local residents. In an ideal world we would like to stay here for a long time – it will be a crying shame if we are forced to close.”
Mr Shave said trade in the Wincanton greengrocers has rapidly dried up in the past 12 months – with recent figures compiled by international company CACI proving “alarming” to the town’s traders.
The figures released last month estimated that the town’s businesses were taking less than four per cent of the total money banked in the potential catchment area.
Mr Shave also highlighted the departure of Safeway and Wincanton Health Centre as key moments in the high street’s demise.
“There was always going to be a knock-on effect,” he said.
“Unfortunately I think we’ve borne the brunt of that.
“A recent Dispatches television documentary showed it is actually cheaper to go to a greengrocer than to a supermarket.
“I think there’s a general misconception that it is more expensive.”
Mr Shave said the Castle Cary store is under less threat than its Wincanton counterpart – and believes that is entirely due to the lack of threat from supermarkets.
He said: “The shop in Castle Cary is covering its way – but I don’t think it has the same problems on the high street that Wincanton is facing.
“There are no major supermarkets in Castle Cary. I think that’s a crucial reason for what we’re seeing.”
Mr Shave can be contacted by calling 01963 31226.