THE owner of a Taunton music shop has called for shoppers to “look after their own” and back independent businesses in the town.

Glenn Charman, who has been on East Reach for 14 years with his shop, G. C. Music and Collectables, said the independent scene in Taunton has the potential to thrive despite recent difficulties posed by Covid and the high cost of living.

He said: “It is a struggle; it’s got worse since Covid.

“With this sort of business, I rely on people bringing stuff in but, since Covid, people are selling on Marketplace on Facebook or eBay.

“I am buying less and less and it’s a struggle, but everywhere is the same. We need more help from the local authorities, especially here on East Reach.

“Everything I do is luxury, it’s not essential. With Covid and then the cost-of-living crisis, people are spending more on essential things and it’s very difficult.”

Somerset County Gazette: The shop also offers a huge selections of posters, records, and gadgetsThe shop also offers a huge selections of posters, records, and gadgets (Image: Newsquest)

Glenn believes independent shops could benefit from the help of the local authorities.

“They are really strict on what sorts of shops they have, and the cost of rent is unbelievable,” he said.

“Reduced rents and the business rates would attract more independent shops. A lot of people starting a business now are doing it online.”

But despite this, Glenn can see positive aspects on which independent shops can build on.

Somerset County Gazette:

He said: “The Taunton Independent Quarter is brilliant. The people running it are lovely.

“Independent shops are local, they have more quality, they are unique.

“The money spent in independent shops goes back into the local economy and supports people.

“My customers are very loyal. They are lovely and they care.

"The worst ones are those who moan about empty shops but then they buy everything online.

“We need to look after our own.”

Glenn’s shop is located at 140 East Reach, Taunton. It sells guitars and accessories, records, vinyl and other collectibles.