Jobs lost as kitchen store closes down

PUBLISHED: 10:33 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:10 30 May 2010

Woodside Kitchens and Bedrooms is the first shop in Dunmow to suffer at the hands of the economic downturn   Picture: NICK THOMPSON

Woodside Kitchens and Bedrooms is the first shop in Dunmow to suffer at the hands of the economic downturn Picture: NICK THOMPSON

THE credit crunch has taken its first bite out of Dunmow s High Street following the closure of Woodside Kitchens and Bedrooms. Five members of staff have lost their jobs after the store on Market Place shut its doors for the final time on Friday. Manage

THE credit crunch has taken its first bite out of Dunmow's High Street following the closure of Woodside Kitchens and Bedrooms.

Five members of staff have lost their jobs after the store on Market Place shut its doors for the final time on Friday.

Manager Rob Ellis, who has run the company for 13 years, blamed cash-strapped shoppers, developers installing kitchens in new builds and crippling overheads for the closure.

He said: "We have tried to compete with the larger, cheaper companies but have just found it too tough. Kitchens have always been a luxury that people invest in once every few years.

"At the moment they are not looking for such an investment because everyone is trying to save money. They look for the best quote, not necessarily the best quality.

"New builds have also taken business away from us because people don't need to invest in a kitchen when moving into a new home.

"We have tried to arrange contracts with developers in the town but they just seem to looking for cheap deals rather than a product that will last."

On losing his staff, Mr Ellis added: "I am so disappointed because all of them are also my friends. They have all worked with me for the majority of my time here and it is very sad to have to tell them the news."

Mr Ellis has worked in Dunmow for over 24 years, including 11 years as a joiner at Folly Farm. He intends to set up He iHe a website in a bid to get his business up and running again in the future.

He said: "I won't give up altogether, but with the way things are at the moment I cannot afford to run a shop and employ any staff."

Chairman of Dunmow Chamber Trade and Commerce, Mike Perry, has asked for landlords to be lenient on rates to give shops the best chance of surviving any tough times ahead.

He said: "Reducing rates for struggling shopkeepers would be the right thing to do.

"At a time when our town seems to be getting busier, it is a shame to lose one of the High Street's most prominent shops. But unless we get help in the way of rate relief we could see more shops disappear in the future."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? E-mail us at nick.thompson@archant.co.uk or text us on 07501 482 135.

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