The Bakery in Sawley defends decision to go cashless after 'tremendous' loss

The owners of a family-run business have spoken out after "unnecessary spite" and verbal abuse towards staff following a decision to ditch cash payments. They said the decision to got contactless at The Bakery in Sawley, Derbyshire, had been difficult one and that no one was more upset than them.

The shop, in Tamworth Road, was slated on Facebook by a regular customer of 20 years, who walked out when they were told they couldn't pay with money. They said on Spotted Long Eaton: "Another shop lost to bank manipulation and economic bullying!! Just been to Sawley Bakery and ordered a fair few things, got my cash out to pay only to be told they've gone card only so I said 'I best go and spend my money where it's wanted then' and walked out the door leaving everything behind.

"Been a regular customer for 20 years, won't be returning, shouldn't be up to the retailer to decide how I pay for my goods, that's my decision, spent my money elsewhere."

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The bakery owners, who have never posted or commented online before, put out a lengthy statement about the predicament and defended their decision. They said: "We love running the bakery in Sawley - this is a lifestyle for our family, not just a job. If you disagree with our decision, then we are, of course, sorry that you feel this way.

"However, put yourself in the shoes of a small family business, when you work tirelessly through the day and through the night, to have numerous discrepancies, forgeries and issues with safety and security happening on a weekly basis. This has never been out in the public eye as we are a private small business. But our staff's safety and the security of our business are both paramount.

"No one is more upset than us as the owners that we have had to do this. Unfortunately, this loss is such a tremendous one, we have now had to resort to being cashless. As a business we have explored all options before coming to this decision. It is not something we have come to lightly but if we continued to lose like we have, it would not be long until Sawley ends up with one less shop on its high street.

"Those who are keen to boycott our business and feel this is right, we cannot stop you, but I hope everyone now has a better understanding and also how hard this decision has been to make. The vast majority of our customers have been immensely supportive and we are so grateful for this. In all honesty, we are blown away by how much our bakery means to the community. The staggering number of supportive comments for a start is overwhelming.

"As much as we do not want to live in a cashless society, it can be very difficult at times to run a small business. You find out very quickly that a small few do ruin it for the majority as our eyes and ears cannot be everywhere at once. The world can be a cruel place sometimes and when you work so hard this an be a difficult pill to swallow, specially when it is a regular occurrence."

The owners said the verbal abuse and "unnecessary spite" staff had been subjected to was despicable. "Please remember the person that serves you with a smile has nothing to do with these decision. We kindly ask those individuals to not take it out on the lovely ladies that work here."

The majority of people backed the bakery's decision. One said: "The reality is that card payments is no inconvenience to adults, only children with pocket money. It is a brilliant bakery with delicious and really reasonably priced items. Staff are great. I for one value it a lot and happy to pay card, it’s easier for me anyway."

Another said: "You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. If people don’t like it then you don’t want their business anyway. I’m sure you will have extra customers after this. Good luck with your business and we love your proper fresh cream cakes."

But some remain unhappy. One person commented: "Cash is king and people don't seem to realise how dangerous going cashless is. Complete control of your money, and the value of money, how or where you can spend your money. All these people saying it's not the end of the world when the reality is cashless society would completely end your freedoms you take for granted now. Businesses refusing cash should be boycotted where possible."

Someone else posted: "Once cash has gone, the banks and government will control how, where and when you spend your own money. They’ll also control what you spend your money on."