The owner of a popular gift shop in Burnham-On-Sea town centre which is set to shut down in January says that high business rates and rent costs have been ‘a killer’ and left them with no option but to close.

John’s Shop opened three years ago in Burnham High Street and is to close on January 16th, 2020.

Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, the shop’s Holly Francis said: “Sadly, we have taken the very tough decision to close pour Burnham shop and focus on our two Weston shops instead.”

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last three years, it’s been such a hard decision, but sadly the rent and rates are just killing us and have left us with no option to come out of the shop.”

She added: “We spoke to the council about trying to get the business rates reduced, but there was no movement from them – that was the killer, alongside our rent costs.”

“It is incredibly frustrating when the charity shops in the High Street pay no business rates at all but sell some of the same stock as us, and get to keep their profits. How’s that fair – it’s just not right.”

“Online shopping has become a big competitor for us too – people come in the shop and actually compare our prices with those online even though the internet sellers don’t have rent, rates and overheads like electricity and staff costs to pay. It’s so difficult to have a physical shop these days and make it work.”

She adds: “Footfall has dropped in Burnham this year – and we know that January through to March are always traditionally the quietest months of the year so, as our lease is up for renewal, now is sadly the time to go.”

“We thank all of our loyal customers for their support and the good news is that we are relocating everything to our Weston shop at 98 High Street and we are only 15 minutes away for them to come see us. Our shop in Burnhamn has a 10% closing sale underway.”

A Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman said: “We are very disappointed to hear that this super shop is closing in January and we wish the owners well for the future.”

“The Chamber urges local shoppers to support Burnham town centre’s wide range of shops, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Get a free copy of our shoppers guide from here or the tourist information centre to find out more about Burnham’s variety of shops.”