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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Joel Moore

Sadness as popular discount food shop in Bulwell announces closure

A discount shop in Bulwell which provides affordable food products for low income shoppers has announced its closure.

Budget Wise, in Commercial Road, confirmed on Saturday, January 15, that it would be shutting "very soon" - leaving some regulars not knowing what to do, according to one worker.

Elise Abthorpe, a 23-year-old volunteer at the shop, said it was "very upsetting" to have to close.

"Everyone comes in here and has a laugh and a joke, it's not a normal shop," she told Nottinghamshire Live.

"You can't get this stuff at these sorts of prices anywhere else, they help people who can't afford it. People who come in say this is where they get their food.

"Shoppers have said they don't know what they're going to do, prices are going up tremendously. They get much more for their money here."

Elise Abthorpe volunteers at the shop. (Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson)

One regular, Nick Smith, said: "This shop has allowed common folk to eat like kings and queens."

The store has treated Bulwell shoppers to bargains since 2000, including nine loo rolls for £2 and two Battenberg cakes for £1.50.

However, it has seen a significant drop in footfall due to Covid and the occupancy of a walk-through test site at its closest car park, manager Julie Beck says.

The 55-year-old, who has worked at Budget Wise five days a week since its opening, told Nottinghamshire Live: "It's not anybody's fault, a lot of it is down to Covid and the car park has been taken up.

"People are scared to come out and their shopping habits have changed. We just can't carry on, we're going bankrupt. We can either buy stock or pay bills.

"I've had four people in so far this morning, normally the shop would be buzzing at 9.30am after the school run, but it's just not happening."

Budget Wise announced it would close within next few weeks after 22 years in town. (Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson)

She added the Covid test site's location means some regulars, many of whom are elderly, are forced to park further away, therefore "putting them off".

Speaking of the decision to close, Ms Beck, who runs the store with her husband and brother-in-law, said: "It's sad, it's very sad. There are people who rely on us, it's hard. We're waiting to hear on when we'll close, the landlord wants us to stay until March but I don't think we'll make it until then.

"I'll miss the people, providing for them and knowing I've helped someone. We get shoplifters in here and sometimes I'll take them to the side and say 'I know you're desperate but I'd rather you tell me than steal from under my nose', and I'd help them out.

"I just don't think you'd get this service anywhere else and it worries me. It's not just a shop it's our family - Bulwell is our family. Even though there are some wrong 'uns, there's a lot of good 'uns."

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