'There isn't an easy solution' - reaction to new charity shop set to open in Dereham
PUBLISHED: 09:42 24 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 February 2019
A Dereham shop which previously housed a branch of WHSmith is set to reopen next month as a YMCA charity shop.
The franchise stopped trading in June last year after the owners said they had been experiencing difficult trading conditions since the shop opened in 2017.
The Stow family previously said they were struggling to connect with the community, which manager Phil Stow described as “heartbreaking”.
And the news the town is set to see another charity shop open its doors has been met with a mixed reaction from residents.
Justin Dack said: “I see the WHSmith store is opening again in March as a YMCA charity shop.
“I was only saying the other day ‘what Dereham really needs is another charity shop’ and it looks like my prayers have been answered.”
Mr Dack added: “It feels like half the shops in town are now charity shops.
“It’s not exactly a draw to bring people to our town and local businesses.”
Sophie Butler Brimblecombe said: “Seriously, another charity shop. What about something a little different?”
And Mark Woods added: “There was neither a need or demand for the WHSmith.
“As was pointed out, everything in there could be bought cheaper elsewhere.
“There isn’t an easy solution but our high street as we know it is dying and I think we may have passed the point of no return.”
But other residents welcomed the news of the new shop.
Helen Whitehouse said: “After watching the Stacey Dooley programme about how damaging fast fashion is to the environment give me a charity shop any day.
“I don’t know why more people don’t use them.”
She added: “Most of my wardrobe is full of lovely clothes from the charity shops.
“Benefits me, benefits the charity in question and keeps clothes out of landfill. Win win.
“I do understand that it’s a slippery slope for high streets alienating themselves from the shoppers who don’t use them though.”
And Dan Hilton said: “They must be making good money otherwise the charity shops would close down - hence another one opening up in the area.
“Nobody wants them but people clearly buy stuff from them.”
Do you think Dereham needs another charity shop? Email DFT.firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.