‘Save our shops’: Horsham town centre business owner issues appeal

A Horsham town centre store owner is calling on firms to ‘reinvent retail’ to combat the high street’s struggles.

The town has been faced with several big name closures in the past few months including Thomas Cook, Office Outlet and Jessops.

Dominic Sakakini. Photo by Derek Martin ENGSUS00120121022100348

Dominic Sakakini. Photo by Derek Martin ENGSUS00120121022100348

Dominic Sakakini, owner of Sakakini Jewellers in the Carfax, said businesses should look to offer price matching and high levels of service to fight back against online retailers and to ‘save our shops’.

He added: “I have survived 17 years. There were 14 jewellers. We’re down to five. Where is retail going?

“Something I have been talking about for about ten years. What is it the public are wanting? Retailers owe it to the public to offer a good service.”

But Dominic urged service providers to be ‘on top of your game’.

He said: “We have to move with the times.

“The public have a right to expect a certain amount of service.”

Dominic said if customers find a product for a lower price online he would like them to visit him to see if he can match it.

He added: “That’s what loyalty is all about. Come in and talk to me.

“I would much rather they come to me and say I have seen it cheaper online.

“We would like to be offered the opportunity [to match or beat an online price].”

“I have to make a bold brash statement because I believe in my product.

“That’s the extent we have to go in order to survive.”

But Dominic praised Horsham District Council in supporting traders in the town.

He said: “I’m extremely grateful to the council for dropping the business rates by one third.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the council.

“It does help me and it does help other businesses.”