A STAFFORD couple say they are heartbroken after putting their business into voluntary liquidation the day after being named the town’s best independent shop.
Truview has been in Stafford for 34 years and was founded in 1980 by Sudhi Bhattacharjee and was taken over by Kelly and Simon Dean in 2008.
The couple launched a website in 2012 to take the business into the digital age and moved to Mill Street from Sandon Road last year where it had been for more than 30 years.
Last week the electrical goods business was named best independent shop in the Pride in Stafford business awards.
The following day the couple went into voluntary liquidation citing competition from internet suppliers and supermarkets, and technology. The shop had been closed since last month (June).
Mrs Dean said: ““The award was bitter sweet. We knew we had come at least third. We agonised about whether to go to the presentation. When we came first we looked at each other and felt sick.
“It wasn’t the high street giants, it was more the faceless online companies. I feel saddest for our customers. They have been so loyal but there are just not enough of them. We made sure everyone who had given deposits got them back and people who had paid for things had their products. It breaks our hearts.
“It’s harder for Simon because he’s been doing this for 17 years. He feels completely beaten up by the whole thing. All his adult life he’s been doing this. It’s not just us – lots of retails shops are going the same way.”
She added there was a lot of government support for new businesses but none for existing companies.
Mr Dean said: “You can’t help but feel like you have failed but people are looking to save money whether they’re wealthy or not. The award made us feel we had done a good job. When we decided, it wasn’t a quick decision. We gave it a lot of thought but now we have done it we feel a lot better for it because the pressure of having those overheads all the time when business is quiet is terrible when the bills are coming in and you know you can’t pay them.”
Writing about the closure on Facebook Rose Gwilt said: “I am saddened to learn that Truview has joined the increasing number of independent retailers that have closed in Stafford town. Their customers always received excellent friendly customer service, product knowledge and after sales service which supermarkets and on line retailers do not provide.
“It is regrettable that consumers did not give Truview the support it deserved. Shoppers have no right to complain about empty shops on the high street if they choose alternative methods of shopping.”