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Manningtree shop owner’s concern over postal strikes

A BUSINESS owner is concerned postal strikes will mean her customers may not get to send packages to loved ones this Christmas.

Sam Luxford runs NaviStitch, in Manningtree High Street, selling nautical art and greeting cards that are hand stitched onto navigation charts.

Royal Mail workers are to hold a further 19 strikes in October and November in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, which will make it difficult for Sam to get her products to customers.

Sam said: “I sell greeting cards through my brick-and-mortar shop but I also sell online on my website and Etsy shop.

“During the last postal strike my online orders dropped off a cliff, these 19 days will have a huge impact.

“Some customers are not confident in ordering because they know their deliveries won’t arrive on time.

“My other concern is the run-up to Christmas. I’ve got to get the card to my customer who then has to get the card to their friend or relative.

“It will be especially difficult because of the strike.”

Sam does not have a suitable alternative because Royal Mail is the only company that ships letters while others deal with packages.

Despite the inevitable impact on her business that the strikes will have, Sam has expressed her sympathy for the postal workers.

She added: “I do support the postal workers and I think they do a fantastic job and I’ve never had any issues with Royal Mail.

“I completely support the workers. It’s at a management level where the issues need to be resolved.

“This is all very inconvenient for small businesses too.”

A life-long stitcher and sailor, Sam was inspired to start Navistitch by an image on Pinterest of a family who had stitched their holiday road route as a red line onto a road atlas.

This motivated Sam to produce her own artwork with navigation charts and nautical-inspired images like compasses and ships.

Sam said: “We’ve not had a normal Christmas for some time because of the pandemic.

“I thought this year would be different, but that’s the case.”

For more information on Navistitch visit navistitch.com/.

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