£1m price tag for gift shop and post office retirement sale where 10 staff are being made redundant

PUBLISHED: 12:11 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 15 July 2020

Ten staff members have been served redundancy notices at Etcetera in Wisbech. Image: Steve Williams

Ten staff members have been served redundancy notices at Etcetera in Wisbech. Image: Steve Williams

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Ten staff have been served redundancy notices at a Wisbech gift shop and post office.

Ray Wicks, and his wife Jan, who own Etcetera Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Ray Wicks, and his wife Jan, who own Etcetera Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ray Wicks, 74, the owner of Etcetera, in York Row, says he intends to retire next year and staff numbers are being reduced as he takes steps to wind down.

Etcetera– with a turnover of nearly £200,000 a year – has been offered for sale for £1m and is one of 74 businesses for sale listed in the Wisbech area.

The three-storey premises include a showroom, 50 cover coffee shop, two hair and beauty salons, two flats and has been home to the local tourism office.

Mr Wicks said: “It has been a very hard decision because some have been with us for such a long time.

Etcetera Wisbech. Ray and Jan Wicks. Picture: Steve Williams.Etcetera Wisbech. Ray and Jan Wicks. Picture: Steve Williams.

“But I think, or at least I hope, people will understand why we have had to do this.”

He said that the Post Office – which he took on seven years ago -has been notified of the situation. The Post Office has been approached for comment about the future arrangements for Wisbech.

He will continue to open as normal for the time being but is hopeful someone will take over.

The shop, coffee shop and Post Office branch will continue to open as normal for the time being as it is still hoped someone will take the businesses over.

Listings website RightBiz describes the three-storey building as a “fantastic opportunity” with “superbly fitted” facilities.

Mr Wicks said that someone has expressed an interest in the shop, which means the coffee shop and Post Office are still open for offers.

He said: “We really hope that someone will take on the businesses and will perhaps bring the staff back.

“If anyone is interested, please get in touch. Yes, the high street is tough at the moment but I’m hopeful it will pick up again.”

He also explained the current Post Office manager is moving abroad, which is the reason behind the vacancy at the branch.

Ray owns Etcetera with his wife Jan and they bought the property in 1980 and opened the business in March 1981.

While some staff were furloughed during the coronavirus lockdown, the Post Office remained open throughout.

Two years ago Mr Wicks became embroiled in controversy when he criticised Fenland Council for not doing enough to support local businesses,


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