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Chairn store hopes for centre

PUBLISHED: 14:19 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 07 July 2010

THE gloom of a declining retail sector in the centre of Fakenham has been eased with news that a national chain store is moving in.

Specialist food retailer Julian Graves is to open for business in three weeks in the town's market place in premises formerly occupied by shoe retailer, Stead and Simpson.

THE gloom of a declining retail sector in the centre of Fakenham has been eased with news that a national chain store is moving in.

Specialist food retailer Julian Graves is to open for business in three weeks in the town's market place in premises formerly occupied by shoe retailer, Stead and Simpson.

The shop, which will create four new jobs, will sell nuts, seeds, dried fruit, herbs and spices, exotic savoury snacks and dining and kitchenware accessories.

The company's property director, Neil Dixon, said Fakenham had been on its “hit list” for some time and it was delighted when premises became empty in the market place.

“The town offers a good fit with the demographic profile of our core customer, which is 45-plus, dominantly female with a strong interest in baking and healthy eating, and it's a proper market town with a strong market,” he said.

The firm has other stores in Norfolk in Sheringham, Dereham and Norwich .

“These stores perform very well commercially, so it made sense for us to open in Fakenham,” said Mr Dixon.

He added : “As a company we offer our customers lots of free advice about healthy eating and supply information about the nutritional benefits of our products, together with recipes and other eating suggestion.”

Meanwhile the closing down sale at the Aldiss fashion and accessory store continues, the company reporting that the bargains have attracted large number of shoppers. The three-storey building has been trading at the location for 80 years and there was widespread shock in the town when Aldiss announced it was to close. The store is due to close in the next few weeks.

Around the corner in Oak Street, the old-established Flower Centre shop is to close on August 2 but the premises are to be taken by another retailer from another part of the town.

Fakenham Chamber of Trade president Pat Cooke had expressed concern about the decline in the town's shops.

She hoped that the shops and, particularly the large Aldiss premises, would not remain empty for too long.

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