Sadness as 'quirky and unique' furniture shop closes down
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Hadleigh
The Little Grey Bird furniture shop in Hadleigh is closing down, with the owners saying trade was hit by a double whammy of Brexit and Covid-19 lockdown.
Owners Kelly Campbell-Staines and husband Keith Staines thanked their customers for their support and said they are sad to be closing.
"We tried lots of different things, but there is only so much that we can do," Mrs Campbell-Staines said.
"I don't think we will be the last shop to go. It's so sad. We have a lot of good customers and we have been inundated with messages since we said we were closing."
The shop has launched a huge closing down sale, and is offering socially-distanced delivery within five miles of Hadleigh, or slightly further afield for large orders. At first the couple were offering click and collect, but they have now decided delivery is a safer option for customers.
The couple only moved their "quirky and unique" interiors shop to Hadleigh's Maiden Way in November 2018, attracted by the mix of independent boutique-style shops in the town.
They had initially launched it six years ago at Helmingham Hall and Gardens on a smaller scale, before moving to Stonham Barns and then to Hadleigh.
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Mrs Campbell-Staines said: "It has been a bit of a tough time. Before we moved to Hadleigh, all the shop owners were saying they had had their best year. Then Brexit happened, followed by coronavirus, and we had our worst year."
Mr Staines said Brexit had caused a lot of problems for the shop, with some suppliers now saying their costs for containers had gone up by 500%.
Then they faced repeated closures because of lockdowns and Tier Four restrictions. He said "We lost three weeks over Christmas, which is so important for trade."
They also feel the proposed changes to parking charges in Babergh could have further damaged trade.
The couple did launch a delivery business, but found it hard to get the orders. Mrs Campbell-Staines said: "If you go online, you come up against the giants. We might have 12 sofas and a big company has hundreds."
Comments have been pouring in on the Little Grey Bird Facebook page from customers saying they are sorry to see them go.
One commenter said: "I am so sad to hear this. You have given Hadleigh a wonderful, unique shop and I wish you the very best for the future."
Another said: "Sad news indeed. Lovely shop and smashing owners! Wishing you every success for the future."
For full details of the closing down sale, visit The Little Grey Bird website.