An award–winning independent shop is struggling to balance the books due to competition from large supermarkets – despite being named the best store in the country.
It was only last year that Londis, in Limetree Road, Matlock, was celebrating being given the Best Independent Merchandiser in the UK and Ireland award by the Independent Achievers Academy.
However being frequently undercut in price by supermarkets is taking its toll on the little store and director Dee Sedani is now taking some drastic measures to stay open.
He explained: “We used to sell 600 or 700 bottles of milk a week, now we’re selling about 100 a week. In Matlock the supermarkets are selling milk for £1. We buy milk wholesale for £1.10, but to compete we are going to start selling it for £1 as well – so we’re making a loss.”
He said that in the last eight months he had to make one member of staff redundant, and may have to make further redundancies in order to cut costs.
“The thing is we’re never going to beat supermarkets in price, we know that, but when it comes to everyday products like bread and milk we have very competitive prices, if not as cheap as,” Dee added.
He said customers get a level of service at Londis in Matlock that they don’t get elsewhere.
“People know our staff members’ names,” Dee said.
“We deliver to elderly people who haven’t got computers to shop online. Do supermarkets do that?”
He said the shop had close links to the community and was going to start sponsoring local groups in September.