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Store refit bucks doom and gloom trend

PUBLISHED: 09:29 13 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 07 July 2010

As commercial cutbacks take their toll across the country, the idea of giving up a secure job and going it alone would be too daunting for many.

After leaving his management

role with Budgens to run his own independent store, Brett Corder has already had to cope with the loss of his branch post office and the onset of recession.

As commercial cutbacks take their toll across the country, the idea of giving up a secure job and going it alone would be too daunting for many.

After leaving his management

role with Budgens to run his own independent store, Brett Corder has already had to cope with the loss of his branch post office and the onset of recession.

But that has not deterred the Fakenham businessman from investing in an ambitious refit of his award-winning shop to help lighten the economic gloom in the market town.

The rebranded Corder's Budgens convenience store on Wells Road

was launched yesterday following improvements costing more than £150,000.

Compensation for the axed post office covered about 40pc of the cost, with the rest invested by Mr Corder, 44, and his wife Maria, 41, who has also given up her job as a building society supervisor.

The refit includes a new hot food counter, a coffee machine, fresh bakery goods and more beer, wine and spirits.

Mr Corder said despite the recent closures of large stores like Woolworths, Aldiss and even Budgens' supermarket in the town, he was convinced the time was right to push ahead.

“I think there is a risk to anything when you start your own business, but I am not bothered about that -

I am confident it will be a success,” he said.

“We had to do something - I was not going to roll over and close down. There is so much doom and gloom,

so it is great to be doing something where we can make a difference.”

Mr Corder had worked for the retail and distribution chain for 27 years, becoming an area manager before leaving to take over his own store in December 2007.

He said the business lost 300 customers a week after its post office counter fell victim to sweeping cuts in the service last August, despite a spirited public campaign to save it.

Those customers have since returned - and there was more success for the shop on Monday

when it won a national accolade of Essentials Store of the Year.

At yesterday's event, Hunstanton Concert Band burst into a brassy refrain of Congratulations as the Rev Adrian Bell cut the ribbon to formally relaunch the store.

Stuart Cuttler, president of the Fakenham Chamber of Trade, said: “This is exactly what the town needs. It is the benchmark for the future - not to shy away from investment.”

Mark Torpey, regional director for Budgens, said: “Brett used to work for me directly so it is fantastic to

see him come through from a management role, take over his own store and make it a great success.”

Mr and Mrs Corder employ ten staff and have three children - Jack, 16, Harry, 14 and Charlie, 10.


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