AN independent shop in Chard is being forced to close with the owner saying he cannot compete with one of the national chains that has arrived in the town.

Ian Bennett, owner of Nature’s Bowl, a small pet supplies store based at 5A Fore Street, has said that since Poundstretcher opened just a few doors down, he has not been able to maintain the level of trade he needs to keep his business running.

And with the current store only holding a small premises in an ideal location, Mr Bennett does not think he will be able to make a success of Nature’s Bowl anywhere else in the town.

The shop, which is based next to Boots Pharmacy, will have its last day of trading on Friday, February 16, before closing for good.

Mr Bennett said: “We have been here for three years.

“One of the reasons that I am going to be closing down is trading. A bigger store has opened in Chard and it’s just not possible to keep going.

“The cost of rent in Chard means I can’t afford to go somewhere else.

“When I had stock taken back it was a sign that I wouldn’t be able to keep this going.

“At the moment I am going to be picking up the tools and heading back out to work on a site.

“I just want to thank the customers, al the loyal ones who have been with me throughout the three years.”

Nature’s Bowl had a three-year lease, which runs out at the end of this week. But when Ian started, he had hoped to be able to move out of his current premises and into a bigger one in 2018.

He added: “My dream was actually to open a bigger store in Chard, but since they opened Poundstretcher in Chard I have lost a lot of trade to them.

“I haven’t been able to take a wage. It has made me make the decision to not open anywhere else in the town.”