Paul and Lin Meddemmen have run post offices in two stores in Bethesda since 1982, but lost both PO contracts under the compulsory closure programme. They decided to close one store and are now determined to keep the remaining shop, the oldest in the town, in business.
“We have a good base of loyal shoppers, but maybe not enough to sustain us, so we need to attract new ones,” Paul told C-Store. “Without the counter, we’ll have more space so we’re introducing new lines,” he added.
“We’ll also be reintroducing frozen foods and refurbishing the store’s exterior.
“We’ve heard people say that we’ll probably increase prices to make up for the loss in revenue. However, we’ll be introducing a shopping basket publicity campaign to let customers know we’re actually cheaper than other shops.”
Although the post office counters shut on November 5, Paul doesn’t believe the full impact will be felt until after Christmas. “Takings in the shop have actually been up since the closures were first announced, but we don’t want sympathy shoppers who’ll only come in for a few months and then go elsewhere. It’s essential that we encourage customers to keep shopping with us.”