Vivo Essentials Greenisland

Vivo Essentials Greenisland in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, will open its doors for the last time on Sunday, with owner Aaron Gray blaming the closure on rising costs, inflation and rising legal costs fighting for a new lease for the premises. 

Aaron, who was a panellist at the National Convenience Show last year and shortlisted for Retailer of the Year at the 2023 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards, had run the store for over five years, converting it from a Costcutter to a Vivo in early 2021. 

“This is a post I never dreamed I would have to compose but sadly, the time has come to say goodbye Greenisland,” he told the store’s Facebook followers last Tuesday. “We will close for the final time this Sunday 25th February 2024. 

“Sadly, due to rising costs, inflation and rising legal bills in regards to fighting for a new lease for the premises we have no choice but to close. I have been fighting to keep our wee shop open from last year due to the lease not being renewed on the shop by the landlord. Sadly, mentally, physically and financially I am drained and my amazing wee shop with so many memories has to go and it’s breaking my heart writing this status this evening.”

He thanked his customers for their support. “I want to take the time to thank each of our customers, my goodness you have all made us feel so welcome and boy have you gave us some laughs,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without any of you being so loyal to our wee shop.”

He then went on to thank his “amazing” staff, including store manager Hannah Spence, who is a Sales Colleague of the Year finalist at this year’s Convenience Awards

Hannah Spence Rising Star finalist

“Hannah Spence, your commitment to your role as store manager speaks for itself and I could have never asked for anyone better to have the best interests of my business at their heart and thought process! You excel in customer service, determination and commitment and I couldn’t ask for more or better. 

He also thanked staff members Jenna Alexander and Ryan Smyth for their hard work and commitment to the business, as well as paying tribute to his parents, partner and friends. 

Finally, he asked the local community to look after his staff, adding that “no matter what, we will all be life long friends and I couldn’t ask for better”.

He ended the post: “Thank you Greenisland, you’ve been a blast.”