Surfer’s Paradise closes in Honiton

Rising costs force a High Street store to close in Honiton.

ONE of the trendiest shops in Honiton’s High Street has been forced to call it a day after six years of trading.

Surfer’s Paradise closed last weekend.

Owners Elle and Dave Welch faced the difficult decision after being hit with rising business rates, VAT increases and declining trade.

Mrs Welch said: “We have had the shop for six and half years and business was going well.

“When the recession hit, we worked hard to keep it going.

“We have poured our hearts and souls into the business and we have done everything we possibly can to keep it going.”

Most Read

The couple were even forced to sell their house to keep the business afloat and have not taken a salary for three years.

However, the business continued to struggle to keep up with rising costs.

Mrs Welch added: “Business rates are going up again, the VAT increase, high costs of fuel and cost of living means people have less money to spend.

“The prices of our products have all gone up with the world cotton crisis.

“We can’t keep doing it any more. We have got four children, work six days a week for nothing and it is costing us money to go to work.”

Mrs Welch also told The Midweek Herald that the heavy snow last December also hit sales over the Christmas period. She said: “It is absolutely devastating, but we thought we had to do it.

“We have to put our family first and we can’t keep running the shop.

“It is another empty space on the High Street, but I don’t see it getting any better.”

The couple were also forced to close their shop in Exmouth, which they had hoped would boost sales to keep the business going.

Mrs Welch added: “We want to thank all our customers - without them we would not have lasted as long as we did. We are just really sorry we have had to close.”

Mrs Welch urged shoppers to continue to support local traders.

The closure of Surfer’s Paradise follows the recent loss of silverware chain store Hiho, also in High Street, which will continue as an internet-based operation.