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Victorian Shop ‘is not about to become a supermarket’

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THE National Trust of Guernsey’s Victorian Shop in Cornet Street is not about to become a supermarket, the group’s president has said.

Reports in the national press have suggested that changes at the store have caused a dispute leading to the resignation of the shop’s manageress of the last 11 years, Elizabeth Lihou.

But Ms Lihou said that this was not the case and, although she did not like the modernisation plans, she had announced her retirement because she felt it was time for someone else to take over.

Local NT president Tony Spruce allayed concerns that arose at the news that it is set to bring in barcodes.

He said that customers will not be seeing their items ‘pinged’ through the till as they do in supermarkets. ‘It’s going to be far more subtle,’ said Mr Spruce.

‘A couple of years ago our auditors said that they wouldn’t continue unless we had a proper stock control system at both the folk museum and the Victorian parlour,’ he said.

The Daily Mail ran a story about Ms Lihou resigning from the National Trust shop because of the introduction of barcodes.

‘If you don’t have a stock control system in place, you end up running out of stuff all the time.’

It also meant that the stock of items that did not sell well could build up.

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‘We were told that we really needed to sort this out since we were running a £300,000 a year business,’ he said. ‘It had to be introduced because we have to have our accounts audited.’

There have already been concessions to the modern era in the Victorian shop and people can now purchase items using a debit or credit card.

There has also been the installation of a security camera.

‘This is the reality of running a retail outlet in 2020,’ said Mr Spruce.

  • It was announced recently that the shop at 26, Cornet Street will be closed this summer while renovation work is carried out. It is planned to reopen in time for Christmas.
Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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