Health shop leaves city centre to avoid going bust
- Credit: Archant
A Norwich couple are now running a health business from their home after relocating from the bustling city centre due to the Covid challenges.
Medic China has moved from Castle Meadow to Wellesley Avenue North where Bob Bowles and his wife Dr Zhang Dehua live.
As a result the shop in Castle Meadow is now lying vacant.
Mr Bowles, whose wife is a senior clinician and also works in the business, said Medic China's relocation has seen "steady numbers" coming in with existing customers preferring the free on-street parking available at the new site.
Mr Bowles said: "We wanted to make our business more resilient and one of the major costs since Covid is paying the rent.
"Even with government grants that has been the major headache. The rational decision was to reduce fixed costs to keep our heads above water."
The couple's home has been reorganised including moving the dining room to the front room to create space for the business.
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Mr Bowles and Dr Zhang began operating from home in September having been located in Castle Meadow since 2016.
The Castle Meadow site had previously been a hair salon up to 2015 and has been owned by the same landlord since 1997.
And a sign can currently be seen in the window of the vacant building informing customers the business has moved.
"The landlord was very helpful and sympathetic throughout the pandemic but it was quite a strain maintaining the business," Mr Bowles added.
"Having a city centre premise relies on footfall and for two years that did not happen. Some of the time we were not able to trade at all.
"When we were able to trade there were limitations which meant we could not just have people walking into the shop.
"We had to do something to make sure our business was in a situation where we could continue without going bust."
Medic China provides alternative and complementary health care based on the Chinese model of wellbeing, known as 'Traditional Chinese Medicine'.