The market’s management InShops Retail announced a 22 percent rent increase when the discount grocery store’s ten-year lease ended in November last year. If rates cannot be negotiated down, it will close permanently, owner Salam Shaheen said.
When the family business opened in 2002 rent was £32,000 annually; it was up to £53,000 by 2011 and under the new rates would be £77,000. “InShops are even worse than our previous landlords; they’re so greedy and the rent rises are killing us,” Mr Shaheen said. The management cited market value and inflation as reasons for the rent increase, he said.
A community petition to save the much-loved business already has 1000 signatures. However, it’s unlikely this will be enough, Mr Shaheen said. “I don’t think it will help sadly. If we shut, we won’t open again”.
InShops Retail had not responded to the Weekender by press deadline.