Trader defies high street woes to open store and post office
- Credit: Simon Parkin
A businessman has defied the pressures besetting businesses on the high street to open a new community store in Diss and has plans for a post office.
Victoria Market has opened in the former showroom of Conservatories Etc serving customers living on the eastern side of the town and near Diss Station.
Its owner Andrei Vilvelevici, 33, said: "It's not easy to setting up a business like this these days but I'm sure it will be a success. A lot of people live in this area but there are no shops.
"Stores like Aldi and Morrisons are concentrated in the town centre but for older people, people with mobility problems and if they don't have cars it is not so easy to get there, so I thought it would be good to open a shop in this area.
"We have had a really positive reaction. The local community have already really got behind it."
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The new store opening comes despite pressures on businesses in Diss Town centre. Newspaper chain McColl's last month announced it is to close its shop on Mere Street. The store is one of the last remaining shops offering newspaper deliveries in the town.
Mr Vilvelevici, originally from Moldova but who is now a British citizen, and who has lived in Diss for 11 years, already runs the smaller Food Plus shop closer to Diss town centre and also has a shop in Sudbury.
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His new grocery store on Victoria Road includes an off licence with plans to start selling newspapers and open a Costa Coffee outlet. He has also begun the initial process of applying to turn an area at the back of the store into a post office.
"I have already had talks with the Post Office about it but I have wait three months before I can officially start the process," he said. "I know many post offices have closed and the main one in Diss town centre is looking to move, but I think one here could be a success."
The future of the main Crown post office in Diss remains uncertain more than two years after a search for a franchisee to take it on was launched, however the Post Office said they remain committed to maintaining services in the town.