Scremerston firm seeks to arrest falling shop sales

Howard Marshall of Marshall Leisure Ltd.

Howard Marshall of Marshall Leisure Ltd.

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A local business has revealed plans to expand its range of goods to improve sales and attract more visitors.

Marshall Leisure Ltd, which has its main outlet in Scremerston along with a smaller unit in Berwick town centre, is taking action in the face of falling shop sales.

Owner Howard Marshall has applied to change the terms of his planning permission which currently restricts him to selling outdoor leisure, camping and caravanning equipment.

An application submitted on Mr Marshall’s behalf by Jon Tweddell Planning Ltd, states: “The applicant has a vision to create a more comprehensive retail outlet strengthening their position as a destination outlet and attracting more visitors to the store and therefore Berwick and the surrounding area.

“In addition to the outdoor clothing and equipment they currently offer, they would like to sell toys, gifts, local food, stationery, magazines, pet products, household goods and travel goods.”

Mr Marshall began trading from the site in 2004 and has grown the business considerably.

However, online sales now account for around 60 per cent of total sales and, in contrast, shop sales have declined over the last five years.

The application requests that permission be granted for 70 per cent of the premises be used for outdoor leisure with the remaining 30 per cent unrestricted.

No physical changes to the external parts of the site are proposed.

Whilst Mr Marshall has a shop on Marygate, it is too small to display the full range of goods the company sells. The additional premises is needed to provide the business with the floorspace it needs.

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