Another of our unique village centre shops is set to disappear within weeks due to an apparent lack of demand. Ruddington Village Butchers has faced closure on a couple of previous occasions over the last two years before a flurry of shoppers’ support twice offered the Church Street business a reprieve.
However, it seems this public enthusiasm has not been maintained and so it will not be ‘third time lucky’. Owner Shane Ginty reveals: “The last trading year has been the worst ever for Ruddington Village Butchers resulting in the company operating at a considerable loss. Our lease has just expired and, considering the rapidly diminishing trade, a renewal would be foolish.”
Ruddington had no less than FOUR independent butchers as recently as the 1970s – Oliver’s, Wright’s, Preston’s and Millet’s – before the ‘sole survivor’ at 15, Church Street also ceased trading on the 28th August 2010. T.W Oliver and Sons had started this business up in 1936 – with Bob Warner and his wife Julie taking it over on David Oliver‘s retirement in 1999. Bob had actually worked there for 34 years from being a 17 year old apprentice – but, very sadly, after a decade of running it himself was no longer able to make it pay.
However, it turned out not to be the end for these historic premises after all – because Stewart White and his shop manager Shane Ginty decided to relocate their J Waldron Butchers‘ business here from Radford Boulevard. They opened as Ruddington Village Butchers on March 24th 2011 after the former Oliver’s shop had lain empty for seven months. A complete interior and exterior refurbishment plus the introduction of many new ranges saw shoppers flocking back – seeming to prove there was still a demand for a dedicated high quality butcher’s in Ruddington after all!
When Stewart moved away to Merseyside in February 2015, Shane took over the business and continued to run it successfully with a little help from his wife Nicola. But it seems the sudden and unexpected closure of Thomas’s Greengrocers in March 2018 caused a significant drop in village centre footfall – which compounded a change in shopping trends already making life difficult for many traditional butchers to survive. In July 2018 an uncharacteristically melancholy Shane Ginty contacted RUDDINGTON.info to tell us he could see “no way out” of his financial dilemma after a recent drop in custom meant his shop had been trading at a loss for the previous few months. “Barring a miracle it looks like I’m going to have to close on Saturday” said a tearful Shane at the time, leading us to publish the story below:
On that occasion our news story about his plight – leading to other local media publicity – did send a surge of customers old and new to put Shane back into profit and save his business. The subsequent launch of a Village Loyalty Card and a monthly Village Market by the newly formed Ruddington Village Centre Partnership (RVCP) seemed to increase village centre footfall and improve trade for some businesses, too.
However, in July 2019, Shane made another appeal for villagers’ support in the face of dwindling custom. This enabled him to survive for a second time – but only just. In response to social media suggestions that he should open on Sundays to boost trade – when more people are free to shop – since last November Shane has been doing exactly that. But, with little extra sustained custom as a result, he has come to accept that general shopping habits are changing, many people are either eating less meat or no meat at all, and even most remaining carnivores seem to favour pre-packaged supermarket meat to fresh meat these days! After a disappointing Christmas, and a much publicised ‘Veganuary’ month to follow, Shane knows he won’t even make it to July this year.
“In short, Ruddington village butchers is no longer a viable business and there is no alternative but to close the shop” he says. “We are hoping to continue trading until Easter but we may close sooner if circumstances go against us. As always, thanks to all those who have supported us over the years. Unfortunately there are no longer enough of you.”
RVCP Chair, Mike Ader, says: “I’m really sorry to hear that Shane has decided to close down. Every business needs to make a decision as to whether it is working for them and, even after renewed effort, it clearly hasn’t for him. The village however can certainly support great shops that are in tune with today’s customers needs and wants – and would welcome new energetic, entrepreneurial fresh food retailers amongst others.”
Mike adds: “Since the launch of Ruddington Village Market just over a year ago we have seen an increased vibrancy and sense of community in this fantastic village and it will without doubt continue to grow from strength to strength.”
Ruddington Village Butchers is set to shut up shop for the final time on Saturday 11th April 2020. “I do think that will be the last day Ruddington ever has a butcher’s shop” says Shane.