Staff at one of Burnham-On-Sea’s longest-running shops have thanked customers for their support as the business closed on Saturday (August 31st) for the final time.
Home Hardware in Burnham-On-Sea’s High Street has shut down as its owner, Phil Hemming, retires.
The store’s staff, some of whom are pictured here on Saturday, have received dozens of retirement cards and notes in recent days in the lead-up to the closure.
Taking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, Phil said: “It has been a very emotional time for us and we thank local people for their kind wishes as we close down.”
He added that he had encountered “two years of heart-breaking ups and downs” in his attempt to sell the business, during which time he had lost three keen buyers.
“The rent required to carry on the business of £18.500 per annum means that the profit margins are so tight that the slightest downturn will result in financial ruin. I could not pass my business on to Graham Jones with a clear conscience knowing this.”
“I estimate that the break-even point for the business is approximately £900 per day, which was easily achievable until the advent of Proper Job and latterly B &M. The overall effect of this was a 10% drop in turnover, making the whole enterprise unviable. Speaking with fellow High Street retailers, this seems to be the general opinion.”
“The council have done their best to help the High Street by granting small business relief which means I only pay about 10% of the original rates, but the proposed increase in rent of £3,000 per annum (which was quoted to include the vital requirements of a stock room and toilet facilities) from £15,500 to £18,500 in the present climate is financial suicide. We researched alternative premises but the rent on these was very similar.”
“I wish to thank my loyal hardworking staff, Wendy, Denise, Anthony and Tabitha, and last but certainly not least Darren (the ‘young lad’) for sticking with me through all the uncertainty of their futures and my resultant moods.”
“I wish them all the best in the future and hope they find alternative employment. Perhaps I had better thank my wife Jill who has been my perfect secretary on the whole through all of my tenure.”
“I shall miss the wonderful, kind customers who have kept me on my toes and supported me throughout my 24 years, and I thank you all so very much and feel guilty about letting you down, but old age is inevitable unfortunately.”