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‘Sadly it’s just not viable anymore’ - Town loses sweet shop after more than a decade

PUBLISHED: 08:30 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:45 31 August 2018

Jon Sexton of Sweet Memories, Beccles. Photo: James Carr.

Jon Sexton of Sweet Memories, Beccles. Photo: James Carr.

Archant

A sweet shop which has stood proudly in the heart of Beccles for more than a decade has been forced to close down after years of dwindling trade.

Sweet Memories will close down next month. Photo: James Carr.Sweet Memories will close down next month. Photo: James Carr.

Sweet Memories in New Market will shut its doors for the final time on Saturday, September 15.

Jon Sexton has owned and ran the store for the past six years and believes the death of the British high street is the main factor behind the closure.

He said: “It’s something I have been considering for quite a long time. Sadly it’s just not viable any more.

“We are living through a digital revolution and the high street is changing.

Jon Sexton of Sweet Memories, Beccles. Photo: James Carr.Jon Sexton of Sweet Memories, Beccles. Photo: James Carr.

“The high street isn’t in a good shape right now - I am just a miniscule reflection of what is happening nationally.”

Mr Sexton moved to Beccles from Essex in 2012 to run the traditional sweet shop and initially business was booming.

The business owner acknowledges that when compared to nearby market towns of a similar size Beccles is “in a good state”.

However, in recent years he has noticed a significant decline in footfall through the town – resulting in a loss of trade for the store.

He said: “In 2012 when I took over we were shopping online but not to the extent we are now.

“People don’t travel into town just to buy sweets, we get our business from people walking by and stopping in.

“In the last few years profits have receded by about 30pc. I’ve worked in retail all my life and I’m just reflecting what everyone else is going through.”

With plans to move back into the world of corporate retail Mr Sexton said he has no regrets about his time as a small business owner and thanked the residents of the town for their support over the years.

He said: “I’m glad I have had the experience.

“Beccles is a fantastic place to live and a wonderful place to raise children with a close-knit community which supports each other. We would like to thank all our customers for their ongoing support and loyalty, we would not have been here this long without you all”.

Do you have a Beccles story? Email James.Carr@archant.co.uk

Visit www.enjoybecclesmore.co.uk for more community news from the town.

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