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'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 new YMCA charity shop is set to open in the old WH Smiths store in Dereham. Photo: Justin Dack

A new YMCA charity shop is set to open in the old WH Smiths store in Dereham. Photo: Justin Dack

Archant

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.

WH Smiths in Dereham announced it had shut its doors last year. Photo: ARCHANTWH Smiths in Dereham announced it had shut its doors last year. Photo: ARCHANT

“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.”

The new charity shop will open in the old WH Smiths store in Dereham next month. Photo: Justin DackThe new charity shop will open in the old WH Smiths store in Dereham next month. Photo: Justin Dack

READ MORE: WH Smith in Dereham to close

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.

The family who ran the WHSmith store in Dereham: (from left) Chris, James, Maria and Phil Stow. Picture: Ian BurtThe family who ran the WHSmith store in Dereham: (from left) Chris, James, Maria and Phil Stow. Picture: Ian Burt

“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.

The news of the charity shop opening sparked a mixed reaction from residents. Photo: ARCHANTThe news of the charity shop opening sparked a mixed reaction from residents. Photo: ARCHANT

“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.”

READ MORE: ‘Who wants John Lewis?’ - Do you think north Norfolk has too many charity shops?

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.news@archant.co.uk with your views.

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