Lack of trade could force Collier Row butcher to shut

A BUTCHER’S shop which has catered to customers for close to 40 years could be forced to shut because of a lack of trade.

SR Cooper’s Meats in Collier Row Road, Romford, is struggling to stay profitable enough to remain open.

Shop owner Scott Cooper believes poor on-street parking puts off customers, and a lack of trade could lead to the closure of the shop in the next few months.

Mr Cooper, who took on the business almost three years ago, said: “We are taking a look at things and I will have to shut the shop if things don’t pick up.

“I have got eight people who work for me and I don’t want to see them out of a job, but business has gone down and down and down again.”

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In the past two years, businessman Mr Cooper, 35, has seen business drop by 50 per cent, and has had to use money from his other ventures to keep the shop going.

Although there is a car park nearby, he wants a pay-and-display system introduced in front of the shop. He believes a lack of parking restrictions mean people park in front of his shop all day, leaving no spaces for customers.

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Mr Cooper said: “Over Christmas we had between 300 and 400 orders, but we don’t see 60 per cent of those people during the rest of the year.

“People say they can’t come in because there’s nowhere to park. They don’t want to park down the road and then walk up to us. It’s easier to go to a supermarket.”

“I think this parade would see an increase in custom if pay-and-display was brought in.”

Mr Cooper, from Langdon Hills, would be happy to refund customers for parking.

He said: “There is a huge pavement, part of which could be replaced by diagonal parking spaces. If people had to pay 20p for 20 minutes of parking, I’d be happy to refund them that money during their shop.”

A spokesman for Havering Council said: “There is parking for shoppers in Collier Row in the Rex Close pay and display car park, where we completed a 10-week long major revamp last November.

“If anyone would like us to consider pay and display parking outside their shop we ask them to write to us and we will submit this to the Highways Advisory Committee for its consideration.”

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