Open letter to the residents of Fairlight and surrounding villages.
Fairlight Post Office and Stores is closing.
Leonie and Graeme have agonised long and hard over this very difficult decision, one which has not been taken lightly. From our beginning in July 2016, Leonie and Graeme have worked tirelessly to ensure that Fairlight continued to benefit from the continuation of the Post Office and Village Store. Sadly however the business is no longer viable and sustainable.
Over the last few years and in particular since the end of the Covid lockdown period, we have seen newspaper sales fall by approximately 50% with margins being reduced. Constant late newspaper deliveries especially on Saturdays, has seen customers go into Hastings where newspapers arrive considerably earlier.
We have seen the enormous rise in online shopping keeping customers away from our shop and we have seen the large rise in the cost of energy bills required to keep the business running.
Latterly, we have seen weekly pensions paid directly into bank accounts. The Royal Mail given the opportunity to work in opposition to the Post Office, charging far cheaper rates online than on offer at the Post Office counter and the Royal Mail are collecting from customers houses directly. Our parcel post has reduced by approximately 45%.
All of the above grouped together have seen Fairlight Post Office and Stores start making significant losses which are no longer sustainable. The business has gone from 6 staff members to only Leonie and Graeme to save significant amounts on wages. The family has invested a significant amount of money over the years trying to keep the business afloat. Sadly this cannot continue.
The shop closure date is yet to be confirmed however we will start running down our stock immediately.
Fresh bread, fresh milk and daily newspapers along with Leonie’s home baking will continue to be on sale in the short term and until the final closure date is confirmed.
The Post Office counter and lottery counters have closed with immediate effect.
Leonie and Graeme would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who have supported us over the last 7 years. It has been wonderful journey meeting you all, speaking with you all and a pleasure to serve everyone. Both of us hope that we can continue to live locally and continue to join and mix at the large array of events that the wonderful village of Fairlight has to offer.
Leonie and Graeme
Fairlight Post Office and Stores.
Southern Stores (2015) Ltd T/As Fairlight Post Office and Stores