Estate's only shop to close down with two redundancies imminent
AN ESTATE'S only shop is set to close with two members of staff being made redundant.
Newlyn Stores on Gwavas estate on the outskirts of the town will close on September 29 after the business has continued to operate at a loss.
Chairman and secretary of the estate's residents' association Jenny Beamish said she was particularly concerned for less-mobile locals.
"A lot of people don't have any transport and the bus service is quite expensive," she said. "We are quite concerned about the older people."
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She added that the group was looking at finding a way to help those in need get access to daily essentials such as bread, milk and cash.
"A lot of people can't walk up the hill with shopping.
"I'm hoping we can come to an arrangement – maybe someone will take it on.
"It's just one of those things in this economic climate – people can't keep going if they're not making money."
The lease is owned by the family-run Penwithian Wholesalers in Penzance, which took on the then Penwith Housing Association (now DCH Group) property nine years ago.
Scott Dugdale, a co-director, said he has recorded poor sales for a number of years and subsidised the store to keep the amenity alive, but it was now simply "unsustainable".
"It is with regret that we are closing," he said. "We kept going because of the community – we felt there were people, loyal customers who are going to struggle now."
He added that enquiries with the DCH Group for options for further help were also found to be untenable.
"We tried to keep it running but we are a business, we have been going for 50 years. We can take a loss on the chin but it got to the stage where we thought it's not going to change.
"It's a business decision. Nobody runs a business to make a loss," he said. "A lot of those complaining are the ones who didn't use it."
He confirmed two employees will be made redundant. Its manager is due to move to the main 'cash and carry' site in Penzance.
Dennis Axford, who represents the town at Penzance Town Council, said it was "obviously very sad".
"It's like everything, if it's not used, it's not viable, and only missed when it's gone."