ONE of the oldest businesses in a village is set to cut its opening hours owing to the effect of the recession on trade.

Fisher’s supermarket, which has been trading from its Gerrards Cross site in Packhorse Road since 1969, is from this week only opening until 5pm on weekdays, having previously opened until 7pm.

In recent years, there have been an influx of stores in the village, with Tesco and Marks & Spencer opening, and Waitrose set to start trading at the end of this month.

Store owner Paul Fisher (pictured) has now taken the decision because of the drop in trade between 5pm and 7pm in recent years.

He said: “It is a shame, but unfortunately that is the effect the recession has had on our business.

“We are no longer getting enough people coming to the shop to justify keeping it open until 7pm every day.

“I know this will be inconvenient for some of our shoppers, but we can’t keep it open if there aren’t enough people coming along.

“It is costing us money and I can’t really justify doing it any more.”

Earlier this year, Tesco gained permission to extend its opening hours to 10pm each week day, saying that they were facing increasing customer demand to do so.

In its application to South Bucks District Council, it also mentioned that the shop had the potential to be open for 24 hours a day.

However, Mr Fisher does not believe the supermarket giant is taking customers away from his store.

He said: “We have a different type of customer to Tesco and the people who need to use Tesco in the evenings tend to be commuters doing a quick shop, so I wouldn’t say Tesco has directly affected us.

“I think we are becoming more of a specialist shop rather than a convenience supermarket and, with business as it currently is, it does not make sense to stay open until 7pm every day. If trade were to pick up and we got an indication that people wanted to use the shop until that time, then we would certainly look at opening until 7pm again.”