‘I can’t survive selling a dozen pairs a week’ – shoe shop shuts amid high street pressures
- Credit: Simon Parkin
The owner of an independent shoe shop says she has been forced to close after becoming the latest victim of online shopping and pressures on the high street.
Lizzie Stimson, 57, has decided to shut her business Lizzie 2 Shoes in Diss after increasingly struggling to make the business pay as shoppers prefer to buy online or from chain stores.
"It is very sad," she said. "I have got some lovely regular customers but I can't survive from selling a dozen pairs of shoes a week. It is a constant struggle. People come in and say I didn't know you were here but I do advertise but unfortunately people just shop online now.
"I feel sorry for the older people who don't want to shop online. I have been getting older ladies in because I specialise in the wider fitting shoes and I feel sorry that they won't be able to get them anymore.
"Since I've said that I am closing I have had people coming in saying how sorry they are, but it's the old saying you use it or you lose it. There are days when I sit here and literally no one will come into the shop."
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Mrs Stimson, from Redenhall, opened the shop two years ago and later moved to larger more prominent premises further up St Nicholas Street.
She said: "I have two friends who have clothes shops in Diss and they said ladies were asking where they could get shoes. They said I should open a shoe shop because I was just at home being a wife and mother.
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"I thought I'd give it a go but I cannot rely on a just few customers."
The business, which will closes on June 15, is located in the Diss Heritage Triangle, a £3m five-year town project using the town's heritage to try to breathe new economic regeneration into the streets adjacent to the town centre.
Mrs Stimson said: "Unfortunately no one comes up to this part of town. Even though there are some lovely little shops, people tend to come as far as the market square and no further.
"It is really tough. If I moved further into the town I might get more footfall but the rents and rates are much higher. It is not just me, we all feel the brunt of it and it is very sad."