The man running a Fareham repair shop who can save you cash on your electrical appliances

A FAMILY-RUN electrical repair shop says business has never been better thanks to people turning to repairs rather than buying new to save cash.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 5:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th April 2019, 9:08 pm
Owner Richard Roberts, centre, with from left stepdad John Weeks, mum and business partner Sandie Weeks, children Daisy (nine months old), Alfie, three, wife Nicky Roberts and employee Joe Wright.
Picture: Sarah Standing (120319-1832)
Owner Richard Roberts, centre, with from left stepdad John Weeks, mum and business partner Sandie Weeks, children Daisy (nine months old), Alfie, three, wife Nicky Roberts and employee Joe Wright. Picture: Sarah Standing (120319-1832)

Abbey Electrics, in West Street, Fareham, has been open for 45 years and at its helm is 34-year-old Richard Roberts.

Richard, from Gosport, started working in the shop when he was just 16 years old – and he eventually bought the business from the previous owners in 2005.

Richard now runs the shop with his mum Sandie Weeks, from Sarisbury Green, with the help of full-time member of staff Joe Wright.

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Joe Wright at work Picture: Sarah Standing (120319-1827)

The business has just signed a 15 year lease on the building – and Richard says they are proud to be running a successful business in the heart of Fareham.

He said: ‘Trade is great, although we are going through a recession in the UK, people are turning to repairing their items rather than buying new, which is good for us. Trade is certainly not declining.’

Abbey Electrics offers in store repairs on a wide range of electrical items, with things like vacuum cleaners, lamps and GHD hair straighteners being their most commonly fixed items.

Richard, a dad-of-two, said: ‘We can repair most things. We will give anything a go within reason. You never know what people are going to bring in with them.’

Sandie Weeks and son Richard Roberts Picture: Sarah Standing (120319-1865)

In the past, Richard has even fixed unusual items such as duck-shaped lamps, specialist children’s toys and tiny irons.

In a bid to branch out, the shop started to offer PAT testing last year, which has proved popular with other businesses that need to ensure the safety of electrical appliances on their premises.

Despite neighbouring fancy dress shop Razzamatazz closing down last month, Richard says he believes his business has got what it takes to survive the changing face of the high street.

Richard said: ‘There are a lot of empty units, but that is the same in all towns. The shops that are staying open are the ones that offer something that you cannot get online – coffee shops, hairdressers and pizza places. We are like them. I don’t think the high street is dead, it is just changing.’

He also encouraged people to consider repairing their electrical items in order to save the environment.

He said: ‘Everything has to go somewhere. If it has been thrown out and is going to landfill, it will end up polluting the planet. People often mistakenly think that it’s cheaper and easier to buy new, but repairing often saves money and it is better for the environment too.’