finance

Hard-working shop owner left with minus takings calls on shoppers to come back ‘before it’s too late’


A HARD-working shop owner was left with minus takings after a full day’s trading last week.

Paul Lamb had no customers on Wednesday — with the only person coming into his shop being a woman for a refund which put him £5 in the red.

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Shop owner Paul Lamb was left with minus takings after a full day's trading

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Shop owner Paul Lamb was left with minus takings after a full day’s tradingCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

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Paul, boss of Sims Footwear in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham for 20 years, backs The Sun on Sunday’s Save Our Cities campaign in the wake of lockdown.

He called on readers to “get back into city centres before it’s too late”.

Paul added: “The one customer was bringing back a £100 pair of shoes. The credit card transaction fee meant I was a fiver down.

“The day after was hardly better. I took £110. Pre-lockdown, I was taking up to £6,000 on a good day.

“The trade’s absolutely dead. I can’t see things picking up yet because so many city centre businesses have closed to furlough their staff so there are no office workers.”

The dire situation has led to calls for the Government to fund an army of “High Street Champions”.

These can bring together shop owners, the local authority, landlords and the community to find creative ways to attract people back.

Paul backs The Sun on Sunday’s Save Our Cities campaign in the wake of lockdown

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Paul backs The Sun on Sunday’s Save Our Cities campaign in the wake of lockdownCredit: SWNS:South West News Service

A poll of 1,400 high street business owners shows 73.4 per cent are in need of more cash while 23.6 per cent have lent their own money to the business to keep it going.

Some 27.4 per cent have changed their business to now offer local same-day delivery. And 54 per cent have altered their opening hours.

Alex Schlagman, from SaveTheHighStreet.org which did the research, said: “Getting footfall back to our high streets, while helping businesses to sell in new ways that make their customers feel safe this summer, will define the future of our cities.”

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