The owner of the Spar shop in Marple, Mel, has commented exclusively on this blog about the intense competition his family have faced from the Premier shop opening next door. He has responded to comments on his smoking, his treatment of kids and the vicious price cutting by his competitors. More than anything though he has thanked his loyal customers saying his future lies in the hands of the people of Marple.
NB: MT quoted below is not me.
The original blog, with comments, is here.
His comment is here:
As the owner of the Spar store in question, can I first say a huge THANK YOU for your overwhelming support. The last few months has been the most stressful period we have ever been through but your kind comments and words of encouragement have kept us going.
I have been monitoring blogs, forums and people kindly setting up support groups, but I shall limit my response to the comments raised on this blog. I accept my smoking may offend, and as my wife is a non smoker I have always done it outside. Point taken. Feelings have been running quite high with next door trying to accost passing customers, offering to undercut our prices. Me being outside seemed to put a stop to it the outburst that MT witnessed was a result of them taunting and laughing at my wife. My sincere apologies.
As to the outstanding fare,our shop is very small and while we try our best to cater to everybody's needs, space does not allow. Can I take the opportunity to thank you for overlooking our shortcomings and offering your support and rest assured we will do better.
I have come across a couple of remarks about us selling wine next to Wine Rack and you're right we never intended to do so. The decision to do so was only taken when we knew that First Quench (the parent company for Wine Rack, Threshers and The Local) was heading for failure and the store closure was imminent.
The decision to limit the number of kids into the store was only taken after huge losses through theft, the majority of the kids are great and a credit to their parents. I accept I spend a lot of time outside but it's not to intimidate. I have not only my family, my home and my business to look after but also the jobs of five local people to protect. I need to know what next door are selling, to who and why, to see if we can adapt to survive, this we can only do with the continued support from the local community. As to it being cheaper, you can easily sell at a loss for as long as it takes when you have fifteen other stores to spread the losses, which we can't do. As you can see our fate is in your hands.
Thank you one and all.
Kind Regards Mel