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Trader's anger over fish sales

PUBLISHED: 16:01 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 03 July 2010

Competition: Dale Miller with his trailer selling fish and shellfish.

Competition: Dale Miller with his trailer selling fish and shellfish.

A FISHMONGER is furious after he was allowed to trade in a supermarket car park, only for the store to start competing against him.

Dale Miller decided to invest £13,000 in a purpose trailer when he was given what he thought was the perfect pitch at O'Flynns Budgens in Acle.

A FISHMONGER is furious after he was allowed to trade in a supermarket car park, only for the store to start competing against him.

Dale Miller decided to invest £13,000 in a purpose trailer when he was given what he thought was the perfect pitch at O'Flynns Budgens in Acle.

Business was booming for the first few weeks after Mr Miller started trading at the Norwich Road store in February.

But the dad of two saw trade plummet when the store began selling fresh fish and shellfish and now fears he will be forced out of business.

Mr Miller, 41, has been trading at the King's Head pub car park in the village for the last three weeks, but has seen takings tumble from a peak £300 a day to just £95.

He said: “I feel extremely angry about how I have been treated - I invested all that money they saw how well I was doing and jumped on the bandwagon.

“Budgens realised that they could increase their profit margins and suddenly backing local people and businesses wasn't that important compared to their pockets being a little fuller. To me this is my livelihood and a means of looking after my family.

Most of Mr Miller's produce is locally caught some from the family owned fishing boat at Caister.

A former taxi driver he had wanted to run his own fish stall for several years before finally deciding to set up in business.

After receiving his first rental bill Mr Miller was informed that the charge would go up from £28 to £35 per day, but felt he could cope with the increase as custom was so good.

He says that he was greeted by a sign saying the store was now selling fresh fish after returning to work from holiday.

Mr Miller, from Ormesby, claims he was told at first the store would only be selling a small amount of fish.

He said: “Although I have been able to re-locate in the village, I feel that because the area is not very large I cannot make a living here and will need to find somewhere else to trade.

“When I first started trading I was told they were all for supporting local enterprise and would do everything possible to help me succeed. In fact they ended up selling everything I did at a fraction of the price.”

Budgens refused to comment on the issue when contacted by the Mercury this week.

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