The owner of an independent shop in Weymouth says he is closing down because he cannot compete with national chains.

Robert Cheeseman, 53, owns and runs Wyke Stores, a local independent convenience shop in historic Wyke Square.

He took over the shop in 2012 but will close at 7pm on Thursday, May 30. The shop building has been a place of business for about 160 years, according to previous owners.

Mr Cheeseman believes that his shop has suffered since a Tesco store opened on Portland Road last year. There is also a Tesco nearby on Lanehouse Rocks Road.

He said: “Wyke Square is a very historic village setting. It has been getting harder and harder but I finally made the decision to close about six weeks ago.

"Our turnover has been down by an average of 10 per cent since Tesco moved in. My son, mum, step dad and daughter all help out in the shop to help cut costs. I used to have more non-family members working here but we had to cut back.

"We have very loyal customers and we are hoping they will stick with us until we close because we have all of this stock we need to sell."

For every £1 spent in a small independent local business 63p stays in the local economy, compared to just 40p in every £1 spent at a big business, according to research on spending by local authorities.

Mr Cheeseman thinks his closing will also impact the local economy.

He said: "I use 42 different food suppliers and 35 are local, mainly to Weymouth and Dorset, and a few in Devon.

"It's cyclical because local suppliers also employ local people who spend their money locally and the local economy keeps going round.

“The likes of Tesco have developed local convenience strategies and they are a massive, dominant force.

"Even if we thought we could compete successfully with them, I'm not sure I would want to because of the environmental angle as well - for example, single use plastics.

"In trying to compete we find ourselves doing things which have significant impacts on people, the environment and food waste and which we don’t really want to do. In getting cheap food to customers the big guys don’t care about these impacts. That has definitely influenced my decision."

Mr Cheeseman said he may have a different plan for the shop building, which he still owns, and that he would like the support of other local independent businesses to see if they could 'team up' to stand up to big chains.

To get in touch with him, email

The Echo has contacted Tesco for a comment.