A gift shop in the centre of Burnham-On-Sea shut its doors for the final time on Thursday (August 31st) – as it became an Internet-only store instead.

The Gift Gallery in Cross Street started trading in April and sold a wide variety of gifts – from candles and cards, to ornaments and collectibles.

But it found the number of visitors to its shop were not high enough to sustain the ‘bricks and mortar’ side to its business – so it has launched on the Web instead.

On Thursday, its owners, Sue and Martin Childs, closed the Cross Street shop, pictured, for the final time.

“We thank all our customers for their loyal support over the last few months but sadly cannot sustain the shop any longer,” Martin told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

“Our loyal customers can continue to buy from us, though, through our new online store instead.” He added that a Web site featuring all of the shop’s products had launched here.

Martin believes trading conditions in Burnham-On-Sea for small businesses not located on the High Street are “challenging.”

“Shops who are not based along Burnham’s high street are definitely put at a disadvantage,” he said.

“The peculiar rules in place that disallow advertising boards to be placed along the high street by firms who are not based there make it tough for small firms in the side streets to survive.”

His views were echoed by the previous owner of the shop – Crandon Computer Supplies – which closed its doors last year due to a low number of customers.

John Edwards, chairman of the Burnham Chamber Of Trade, told Burnham-On-sea.com: “I’m very disappointed to hear that another shop has closed in the town. I completely agree with Martin that shops in the side streets are at a disadvantage. The town council takes the stance that shops along the High Street should be able to advertise because they pay higher business rates, while those in the side streets pay lower rates and should not.”

“Personally, I think more should be done to encourage customers to go into Burnham’s side streets. The town council did hint at its latest meeting that it would start considering each application for an advertising board on its own merit rather than having a blanket ban, so there is hope. We need an even playing field for all businesses in Burnham.”


New Burnham-On-Sea gift shop opens doors for business

Burnham’s Crandon Computer Supplies shuts its Burnham shop

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