Residents in Stradbroke have expressed concern over the future of their village store which closed two weeks ago.
The Spar shop in Church Street, run by DC Stores Limited, closed on September 17 when the business owners posted a notice on the door to say they had ceased trading “due to extremely difficult times”.
The development follows the loss of the village post office last July when sub postmaster David Johnson was unable to find a buyer for his business.
DC Stores Limited co-owner Charlotte Melton spoke to the Diss Express last November about their wish to run a post office counter in the store, but said they were “frustrated” by how long it was taking to get a decision from the Post Office.
One resident, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “We have now lost the post office and the shop. It is wrong that a village the size of Stradbroke, which has a sports centre and a high school, now doesn’t have a store. There is a mass exodus to the shops in Laxfield and Fressingfield, and that is not a good thing for the village.”
Stradbroke Bakery, in Queen Street, now offers customers newspapers and milk alongside its bread and bakery products. Duane Adams, who runs the bakery with his father Keith Adams, said: “We started to do newspapers and milk last year when we lost the post office and it has really taken off. Ideally, we’d like to do more and would like to expand, but we are watching the situation with the shop to see what happens.”
He added: “If people want to make suggestions for other products they’d like us to stock, then we will consider it.”
Clerk to Stradbroke Parish Council Carol Smy said the council shared residents’ concerns but it had been “assured that the Spar organisation is very keen to re-open the shop as soon as possible.” The council was also working behind the scenes to get some progress on the reopening of a post office counter.
A spokesperson from SPAR said: “We are currently talking to a couple of very experienced retailers to try and create a sustainable proposition to reopen the store.”