Thursday, September 30, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Rose Hill Spar owner speaks out

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


Vinjay said...

Wow! That's one hell of an EXCLUSIVE there!

Heard anything about the Mahindra group being linked to BRFC takeover this evening?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comments made by Mel the owner of the Spar he says that only decided to sell wine when the closure of Wine Rack was imminent!

Opinions are one thing and facts are another and the simple fact is that this is totally untrue.

The Spar opened on August 21st 2009 selling wine. It was not until October 29Th 2009 that is was announced that First Quench (Wine Rack) was going into administration.

The administrators were looking to sell the shops as going concerns and the fate of the Marple shop was not known until November 20Th 2009 as reported here 3 months after the Spar started selling wine and Mel claims the store closure was imminent!!

Quite frankly i cannot take any of his comments seriously with the above in mind.

Michael Taylor said...


I think that's a very harsh conclusion.

The Wine Rack/Thresher didn't close because Mel started selling wine. Not was the administration a bolt from the blue.

Everything else he says cannot possibly be tainted by that subjective analysis of a volatile situation. It's a ludicrous thing to say.

Give the guy a break.

Mel said...

Thank you Michael
If i may respond,
vision captital asset striped the company in march 2007 selling of all the freeholds of the stores a sign ofa company in severe financial dificulty.Share prices fell and six months before we opened.the company could not get credit from any supliers resulting in failing deliveries and the result huge and unsustainable credit insurance costs.
i,e.NO STOCK,NO SALES,IMINENT CLOSURE and as you see we made a sound decision based on business FACT and the correct one. they had been trying to find a buyer for the whole of this period without success.hence you should reserve comment unless you are armed with the facts and not a newspaper article
regards Mel

Paul S said...

I would like to add that i had my first experience recently of being 'targeted' by a member of staff from the Spar when attempting to enter the Premier store.

I happened to be in a rush and wanted to pop in quickly but through myself being polite was held up for well over 15 minutes whilst the owners of the Premier were what can only be described as 'berated'. I found the whole experience very unpleasant.

This happened circa 4 weeks ago and has since made me drive past both shops now to the Texaco garage and pick up my bits from there. Despite living a stone's throw from Rosehill Station.

The main point of my message being leave people be to make up their own minds as to what they would like, not force opinions upon them as it has now made this shopper go elsewhere permanently.