On Sunday last XL Stop & Shop on Main Street closed its doors finally after 12 years business in Fethard. Proprietors Veronica Barry and John Morrissey decided to call it a day, in no small way due to the difficult economic climate that exists for small businesses in Ireland today. The future of small businesses in towns like Fethard is endangered as more people choose to do their shopping in the larger national supermarkets who now appear to sell everything that local individual shops sold in the past. It wasn’t long ago that a draper sold clothes, a pub sold drink, a garage sold petrol, a butcher sold meat, a bakery sold bread, a newsagency sold papers, a fuel merchant sold fuel and so on. Unfortunately this is not so anymore. Will Fethard eventually end up like some small towns in England, no local shops and one national or international supermarket out the road within a five-mile radius?
Speaking to one Fethard business person recently who was looking at the amount of deaths published in the Fethard Annual Newsletter, he said, “Do you know, I’ve lost at least twelve of my regular customers this year and there’s no one to replace them. Unfortunately most young people don’t have the same loyalty to local shops or businesses.” A thought to ponder if we want Fethard to survive?
John and Veronica, who took over the grocery shop from John and Maureen Whyte when they closed their family business on Sunday, June 3, 2001, would like to thank all their customers for their loyalty over the years and, likewise, we thank them for the great service and friendly chat they provided to their customers since 2001.