Pet shop owners apply to take on post office
THE pet shop in Queen Street, Wells, could become the new home for Wells Post Office.
Heather and Nigel Derrick, the owners of Natural Pets of Wells, are applying to take on the post office franchise.
The couple have discussed their plans with the staff at Wells Post Office in Market Place, and hope they will continue their roles in the new post office if the application is successful.
The Market Place branch was due to close at the end of September with the retirement of Postmaster Kevin Truman. He had already agreed to keep it open until the new year while the search for a solution went on after a proposal to relocate the post office to the Spar store in Tucker Street fell through. He has now said that he will keep the post office open for even longer, into the early months of the new year, to allow for a transition period if required.
“We have plenty of space available in the pet shop and we were already looking into various options to introduce an additional enterprise to make better use of all the space when we were approached by the representative from the Post Office,” said Heather.
“Before taking on our first pet shop in Midsomer Norton five years ago, Nigel and I had actually spent several months looking at many other retail businesses which were for sale. We very much liked a few of those shops which had post offices as part of them, but at that time none of the ones for sale that met our business needs were in our local area around here so we are very hopeful indeed that our application will succeed.”
Heather and Nigel opened Natural Pets of Wells a year ago, in what was Thatchers pet shop, not far from where there used to be a post office in what is now Roderick Thomas estate agents.
Heather said that the Post Office has recommended the installation of a three-position post office counter and the digital booth, to be sited where the pet shop counter is currently, with the pet shop counter moving to the opposite side of the shop.
“Being in Queen Street, we are only just off the High Street, so the post office would still be in the heart of Wells,” said Heather.
“Our shop has easy and level access from the pavement, has parking outside the door, plus we are just a short walk from the bus station with the large car park adjacent to it, so we hope no one will mind it moving to us now it can’t stay in its existing building.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there is an interested applicant who wants to take on Wells Post Office and we are progressing their application. We are not yet at the stage where we can announce our plans.”