The owner of a health store in Malton, North Yorkshire, says she has been “overwhelmed by kindness” after staging a social media plea to residents to back their town’s local independent retailers.
Davina Mortimer – owner of The Beecham Weigh – said that, after trying to put on a positive front for months, she felt compelled to “tell the truth and speak up for independent shops” in the town.
She warned that six of the town’s indies, The Beecham Weigh included, were actively considering closing after Christmas, due to a combination of escalating business costs and an apparent indifference to independent retailers’ plight from many shoppers.
In her post, Mortimer wrote: “Apart from the coffee shops, on Saturday Malton was dead. I stood in the centre of town all day carolling and it was like a ghost town! Again today, streets were empty. It’s less than two weeks to Christmas.
“Assuming it was the cost of living crisis, I then went into a local supermarket (American owned!!) to see how busy it was – it was heaving. Friends that have been to Monks Cross today also said it was heaving. Local residents, how are we letting this happen?
“Our local economy relies to a huge degree on our town centres. Many towns have seen too many High Streets hollowed out by successive shop closures. Don’t let Malton follow the trend”
“Our local economy relies to a huge degree on our town centres. Many towns have seen too many High Streets hollowed out by successive shop closures. Don’t let Malton follow the trend.
“When will people realise that, if we don’t support our town centres, everyone’s quality of living will take a hit even further.
“In writing this post, I can only hope that ALL independent shops in Malton will benefit.
“If they don’t, our town will look VERY different in the spring”.
The day after posting her message, Mortimer posted a video message to say she had been “overwhelmed with your response and your kindness”. She said: “I really just wanted to make everyone aware of the huge difference that buying one or two things from an independent store can make to that business – and that we, at The Beecham Weigh, share the plight of all the independents in Malton.”
Mortimer added: “We will continue to work incredibly hard, as we always do, to keep our doors open. Please keep on shopping with us, please encourage us. Please keep having these conversations with us.”
Store image: The Beecham Weigh