A SWEET shop that sponsors community sports teams has been forced to close for good after Christmas because it cannot compete with the major stores in town.

McIntyre’s Retro Sweets, a traditional American and international sweets seller in Denbigh, will put its high street premises up for sale as it “just cannot compete” with Morrisons after it adopted American sweets and cereals into its product lines.

The store owner, Glynn McIntyre, also said Denbighshire County Council’s (DCC) decision to increase parking fees on Vale Street two years ago has had a “knock-on effect” on all high street businesses as people are no longer willing to park there, instead using the car parks at the top and bottom of town where the bigger stores are located.

Mr McIntyre said he could make as much as £200-£300 a day when he opened the sweet shop four years ago, before parking fees were increased, but now the business cannot make staff wages and is running the premises to a loss.

He said: “Most shops in town are struggling to keep open now the new development is open with free parking

“The top and bottom of town is buzzing but town centre shopping is a dead cause.

“The council’s increase in parking charges has had a big knock-on effect on high street businesses. People don’t want to pay to park and walk up and down the high street when they can park for free at the big stores.

“And since it reopened Morrisons has taken on American sweets and cereals which is what we specialise in – we just can’t compete with their prices and buying power.”

Mr McIntyre, who moved to Denbigh from Halifax, West Yorkshire with his partner and three children due to crime rates there, invested profits he made from the business back into the Denbigh community by sponsoring Denbigh Ladies football team, upcoming boxers at Denbigh Boxing Club and contributed to the town centre’s Christmas tree in recent years.

But he said that recent crime here was another “big factor” in closing shop because it is raising insurance costs and causing insecurity by "not knowing if you are going to go in in the morning and find your shop has been turned over”.

Mr McIntyre intends to move his business online and provide a delivery service for Denbigh, however, because he “wants to keep the community happy”. He will also look to wider revenue streams such as markets, boutique weddings and festivals.

To find out more about McIntyre’s Retro Sweets visit their Facebook page.