Great Yarmouth sports shop ‘can’t close down’

The owner of a Great Yarmouth sports shop claims trade is so bad they cannot even close down.

A closing-down sale started at David Mobbs, in the town’s Regent Street, in November when owner Tim Mobbs, 50, decided he could no longer compete with the internet and out-of-town shopping.

He hoped to close for good in February, but stock has been shifting so slowly he believes he and his full-time staff member, Paul Smith, will still be there throughout the summer.

Mr Mobbs, who took over the business from his father David, who started it in 1966, said: “We are selling some of the stock at below cost price but trade is still slow.

“Some days, Yarmouth is like a ghost town and I feel sorry for people still trying to make a living here. Other traders I have spoken to have noticed it big time.”

Mr Mobbs, who lives in nearby Hopton, believes people in Gorleston and surrounding villages are less willing to come into Yarmouth and put up with its traffic problems because of the presence of the out-of-town Gapton Hall shopping centre.

Bruce Sturrock, managing-director of Yarmouth’s biggest store, Palmers, acknowledged the problems faced by traders in the economic recession, but said the year had begun on a positive note for them.

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“Compared to last year our trade was 14pc up in January and 5pc up in February,” he said.