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The Future of Coltishall Mace Stores and Post Office

At the end of October we clocked up 18 years running the Mace Stores and Post Office in Coltishall.  But this Christmas will be our last here.

After almost 5 years of trying to sell our business we finally have a buyer.  At the present time we don’t know for sure the future of the shop and the Post Office.  Whilst our buyers are planning to operate some kind of business from the premises, we know that it will not be the same as the one we have today.  So we have given notice to the Post Office that we will be closing at the end of January 2021.

I’m sure many will wonder why the business is closing.  It often appears busy with plenty of customers, and we like to think it has been well run.  The sad truth is that it has become very difficult to generate a profit from a retail business as small as ours.  The overheads – staff costs, utility bills etc – have more than doubled over the time we have been here, but at the same time turnover has barely increased and profit margins have been squeezed.  Income from newspaper sales has halved and grocery sales remained static.  Competition has increased, with discounters such as Aldi and Lidl offering prices at less than I can buy stock from wholesalers and other supermarkets offering online ordering and delivery services.  And the demographics have changed – more people living in the village have cars and travel into the city every day to work, picking up shopping on their way home.

The result of these changes is that the business has barely broken even for the last few years even though we have been taking no personal income.  This is clearly not sustainable and is the fundamental reason it has taken us so long to sell.  Earlier this year we decided to try a different approach and market the property rather than the business.  Local agent Lucy Headland from Pendefords took it on and did an amazing job in finding us a buyer within a few weeks.

The Post Office are committed to trying to find a new home for the Post Office in the village and are already talking to other retailers.  For anyone interested in finding out more, I can provide contact details for the Post Office manager dealing with this.

Our plans now are to trade as normal up to Christmas and then in January we will be working to clear our shelves, so watch out for some bargains.  Please continue to support us through this period.  Our opening hours will continue to be:

  • Monday to Friday 7am-6pm
  • Saturday 8am-1pm
  • Sunday Closed

Over the Christmas period we will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day as usual.

It has been a pleasure to live and work in Coltishall over the last 18 years and we have come to regard many of our customers and neighbours as friends.  We thank you all for your support and business but now it’s time to move on, and Liz and I are looking forward to retirement and having a bit more time to ourselves.

Steve and Elizabeth Haines.

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