Post office owners leave amid high costs and competition from national chains
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
A post office in one of Suffolk’s most popular seaside resorts has changed hands - after its departing owners revealed the challenges posed by high rents and competition from national chains.
Guy Mitchell and Sarah Green have been trying to sell Southwold Post Office (Spots) for the past two years.
They feared they might never find another owner prepared to take on the challenges of running a post office in the modern world, with the pair highlighting how the shop's rent and business rates had risen sharply in recent years.
However Kay and Matt Stiff, who have run post offices in Braintree, Feltham and Leamington Spa, have now come forward to take over the historic venue in Southwold High Street.
"We are delighted to hand the reigns over to a couple with a track record in running post offices," said Mr Mitchell.
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"We have had an amazing 13 years but there have been huge challenges in recent years.
"We have faced a doubling of the shop rent, business rates have risen massively on top of competition from national chains and the internet.
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"We would like to thank all the lovely customers who have supported us over the years.
"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve this community. We have grown so fond of so many people and we will definitely miss them."
Mr Mitchell added: "We have been so lucky to have had a team of loyal and experienced staff throughout our time at Spots and that has been a major factor in the success of the business."
The pair, who ran Spots for 13 years, said they had been "totally overwhelmed" by the messages of support they had received on social media.
They will not be retiring however, as they will now focus their efforts on their two other shops - High Tide in East Street, Southwold and Wave in Bungay.
Mr Mitchell and Ms Green have been involved in many community groups in Southwold during their tenure at Spots, including the town's Christmas lights and the Southwold Chamber of Trade.
They also help to plan the street festival which opens Southwold Arts Festival.
"There is a fabulous committee who organise this," Mr Mitchell said. "We have a lot of fun planning it and it is so rewarding to be part of true community event both in terms of performers and audience."