Long Melford bookshop closing down due to significant reduction in customers
A couple are preparing to shut up shop in Long Melford, following a sharp decline in customers.
Jan and Ian Rockett took over Landers Books, which has been trading since the 1980s, six years ago.
Mrs Rockett explained that trade in the village had significantly reduced over the years.
“The footfall in Long Melford has gone down – some people would argue the case, but it has definitely gone down,” she said, citing other factors which she believes have contributed to the decline.
“I think it’s a general change in the way that people shop,” she said. “A lot of people shop online – it’s the easy way to do it.”
Mrs Rockett highlighted that online retailers such as Amazon, which are able to undercut high street counterparts, have become more attractive to shoppers.
Despite the decline in trade, however, some customers have continued to support the Hall Street business.
“We have a lot of loyal customers, including some people who come in because they prefer to buy from independent shops,” she said. “Unfortunately, they are the minority though.”
Mrs Rockett said that closing the business was not an easy decision, but is was no longer commercially viable to keep the shop going.
“The rent and rates aren’t bad, to be honest, but we have been propping it up for years and have come to a point where we can’t do it anymore,” she said.
Mrs Rockett said the couple would be sad to see the store close, but it was the right decision to make.
“We have made a lot of friends since we took over the store, but all good things must come to an end,” she said.
A closing down sale will run until December 31.
The couple’s online business, which offers free delivery on goods within a 10-mile radius, will continue.