Wotton gun business bucks the trend
By undertheedge | Monday, September 16, 2013, 15:21
A Gloucestershire based shooting and country enthusiast's shop is celebrating 25 years of continuous trading despite the difficult business environment of the last few years.
Mark Hazel is celebrating 25 years of continuous trading in Wotton-under-Edge.
Established in 1988, Mark Hazel's Gunroom has carved out a niche market in Wotton-under-Edge for those who enjoy country pursuits.
Business owner Mark Hazel puts his success down to the very personal service he offers his customers. He said: "I do the buying, selling and handle all repairs, so I can guarantee the best possible service. It is what I would want so why not make it available to my customers."
Very much a one-man-band he started the business when as an engineer his work moved him to Yate. Not long afterwards the factory in which he was worked was closed and he decided that he didn't want to leave the area. He had always been interested in the countryside and in particular all types of shooting since he was a lad. While pursuing his hobby he had felt that there were some deficiencies in the service he was getting from existing shops in the area so he decided to put that right by starting a business himself.
The Wotton Chamber of Trade's President Duncan Elliott recognises this milestone achievement in the town. He said: "Mark has always been a stalwart supporter of the Chamber.
"When Mark moved here the Chamber was in a form of hibernation. Along with some other businesses he managed to get it going again. It was Mark who pushed the concept of lunchtime opening. Over the years there have been many changes and unfortunately not all of the traders have survived, particularly in the current recession. He is to be congratulated."
Mark commented on recent changes in legislation and the effects of the two recessions he has experienced. He said: "No law will prevent a criminal mind from carrying out an unlawful action and all the changes in the gun laws have done is to put more pressures and unnecessary restrictions on the law abiding members of our community.
"The first recession that I experienced was one where negative equity was at issue. People's houses were at risk but they still had money to spend. This time round has been very different. Their houses were safer but their jobs were at risk. With the fear of unemployment around they were not so keen to spend."