By Nigel Slater Friday 26 October 2012 Updated: 26/10 09:32
A STORM could be brewing in Pershore after independent traders said they feared the opening of a new coffee chain could put them out of business.
Coffee#1, which has numerous outlets in Wales and south west England, has submitted a planning application to Wychavon District Council to open a new shop in Pershore High Street.
But Sarah Yetman, who runs Sarah Jaynes Tea Room, has launched a petition against the plans with the support of neighbouring shop owners because she is concerned the market is already saturated and a new chain opening could drive independent companies out of the town.
"The application says the new shop will bring in more jobs but how many are we going to lose as a result? Because of the economy at the moment it could get rid of some of us or maybe even all of us," she said.
"All of the other tea rooms and coffee shops and many local traders have taken in our petition forms to fight this proposal as we want to fight this together."
"Pershore prides itself on the independent traders it has and as there are already three premises providing tea, coffee and food in the space of nine shops in the High Street we feel we have the right balance."
"It would be good news to fill an empty shop but it could eventually cause many more to be empty. Eight staff alone would probably lose their jobs including three members of our family."
Coffee#1 said they were aware of traders' concerns but hoped their arrival would be welcomed positively by the people of Pershore.
A Coffee#1 spokeswoman said: "We are excited at the prospect of opening a Coffee#1 store in Pershore and really looking forward to joining the community.
"Since our first store opened in 2001 we’ve made a name for ourselves as an ethical, gourmet coffee house with a friendly, community feel, which we feel is the right fit for the market town of Pershore.
"As a private, family-owned, independent business, we understand there may be concerns from other local business owners, but so far we’ve received a very positive response to our coffee shops around South Wales and the West Country and we’ll be bringing new jobs to the town too.
"We believe that this store, like all our stores, will become a welcome new facility, appealing to a broad market and will quickly become an integrated part of town life. We expect to be opening early 2013."
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