Sheffield shop owner gives this heartfelt plea asking people to shop independent or risk losing stores

A Sheffield shop owner has called on shoppers to support local shops like hers and warned they won’t be there in future otherwise.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 1:07 pm

Lindsay Lonchar, who runs Wildwood Artisan Gifts and Coffee Shop with her husband George, has enjoyed seeing customers return to their city centre store in recent weeks – but said she knows the battle to survive is far from over.

She said: “Before lockdown, every day we’d have customers come in the shop and tell us, “Wow, you have such lovely things, I could spend a fortune in here, I’ll definitely be back”. Now is the time we need those people to come back!”

Lindsay and George opened their unique cafe and gift shop, which is on Fitzwilliam Gate, around 18 months ago after spending many years dreaming about it.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Wildwood on Fitzwilliam Gate in Sheffield Owners Lindsay and George in the shop

She added: "For people like us who have invested our heart, soul and life-savings into our business, if they don’t, the thought of having to close our doors and have staff members lose their jobs is absolutely soul-destroying. It actually doesn’t bear thinking about! We have to go forward positively.

"if they appreciate what we offer to the high street it’s very simple - they must shop with us. If people don’t consistently shop Independent over the coming months we will no longer be here.

"Selling enough to cover the rent, staff wages and other overheads is our biggest challenge going forward. Once October comes and the furlough scheme ends, sales should pick up in the run up to Christmas.

"I anticipate our biggest future challenge may actually be the first eight months of 2021. If consumer confidence isn’t completely back to normal by the New Year then we will struggle to survive those months.”