Chiswell Green off licence forced to close

PUBLISHED: 12:43 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

An off-licence has been forced to close due to lack of trade. Threshers in Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green, has launched its closing down sale after profits plummeted to less than a third of what they were this time last year. It had survived the initial

An off-licence has been forced to close due to lack of trade.

Threshers in Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green, has launched its closing down sale after profits plummeted to less than a third of what they were this time last year.

It had survived the initial round of closures when parent company First Quench went into administration and it had recently turned into an independent store from a franchise.

But manager John Saffery explained that a combination of the recession, supermarket competition and a break-in had taken its toll on the business.

He said: "The supermarkets have been battering my best time for sales, stealing my trade, and then on top of that it has been First Quench going under and the press surrounding that - I've lost 200 customers a week."

To give an example, he said that an average Mothering Sunday the shop would take £1,500, but this year he took only £440.

The final straw for Mr Saffery was a burglary in February in which thieves stole £3,000 worth of cigarettes and caused £2,000 damage to a window.

He said he was disappointed to close having survived the problems with First Quench but that he needed to quit before he got into any debt.

He added: "In my experience with retail there is no point in trying to fight as you just keep losing money. If I get out now I will break even."

Mr Saffery, who rents the shop unit, is unsure what it will now become but he believes that there are a number of interested parties.

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