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Owner blames closure of Toppers sandwich shop, in Bury St Edmunds, on 'town centre crisis' and market food outlets

The closure of a independent Bury St Edmunds business is indicative of a crisis on the High Street, according to its owner.

But David Sherfield, of Toppers, said trade had also not been helped by the proliferation of food outlets on Bury’s Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The sandwich shop, which had traded on the Buttermarket for more than 25 years, closed on December 10 after footfall halved in five years.

David Sherfield, owner of Toppers, which has now closed
David Sherfield, owner of Toppers, which has now closed

When Mr Sherfield took over the business in 2013 the shop regularly served 100 customers a day. On the last Saturday of trading, it served just 40.

“The markets are now full of food stalls and it destroyed our Wednesday and Saturday trade,” said Mr Sherfield.

“The council had a direct influence over the number of food stalls on the market.

“But we always kept our standards high and our staff when we closed were the best we’d ever had.”

He said Palmers and Argos closing were also contributing factors, as footfall from customers and staff was lost.

“We are heading for a town centre crisis, not just in Bury but across the country. Bury has become a destination because it is beautiful, but it needs to have a vibrant town centre,” he added.

Mr Sherfield now plans to tie off any loose ends from Toppers, before finding a job.

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokesman said: “The market is on twice a week, while there are also a number of cafés and restaurants in the town centre trading very successfully throughout the week.”

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