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Closure ends couple's dream

PUBLISHED: 12:21 31 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010

THEY moved from London to pursue their ambition of running a rural shop.

But now Martin and Carol Hodgson have told how their dream has been shattered by being forced to close after only three months.

THEY moved from London to pursue their ambition of running a rural shop.

But now Martin and Carol Hodgson have told how their dream has been shattered by being forced to close after only three months.

The couple, who own Countryside News, in Haughley are closing their shop from the start of March because they do not believe it is commercially viable.

News of the closure has been met with sadness in the village.

The shutdown comes as another independent shop, Sunshine, which sells children's toys, clothes and gifts, in the High Street, in Needham Market, has closed after just six months.

The business has relocated to Alder Carr Farm on the edge of the town after the shop's future in Needham looked bleak. The town also recently lost its only petrol station.

Mr Hodgson, a 33-year-old former merchant banker in the City, and his 37-year-old wife said they are very sad at having to close their shop.

But the couple, who moved in to the countryside from north London, are going to continue with the newspaper delivery side of their business.

They feel the profits at the shop, which has been open seven days a week, are too low to justify continuing and they will now use the premises for office space.

Mr Hodgson said: "We are flogging a dead horse. Supermarkets are winning the war with shops, people are bulk buying there.''

His wife added: "We know some elderly people are upset and the shop has been here for years. People do not like change, but it is not commercially viable.

"It was our dream to move to a rural community, to be in the country and do something with a business. Our dream has been shattered. But we are still happy to live here.''

At Needham Market, Sunshine manager, Yvonne Gerrell, said: "I was sinking in the High Street and in another three months would not have covered the overheads.

"I had a chance of a workshop at Alder Carr Farm and decided to cut my losses and go for it. There are farmers markets here, different units, and I feel quite positive about it.''

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