Friday, 14 July 2017

Ferry Stores Reduction in Opening Times

From Chris Ball

Our thanks to all the staff and volunteers for their invaluable help in ensuring that we have been able to keep the Ferry Stores and post office running following Jonathan’s untimely death. As you will have seen, we have almost finished improving the shop with the new roof, re-painting and a much needed tidy up.

This has only been possible with the dedication of the staff and local volunteers, and in particular, Helen and Bill. Thanks to them, we have been able to continue to deliver a good service to the community through the quiet winter months and we were hoping to be able to deal with the summer influx, which is so important to the economic welfare of the community.

Unfortunately, our plans to staff the shop through the summer have been dealt a blow in the last few weeks, with the departure of two key staff . Now, through sickness and other personal matters our part time staff have also had to step back. This means that we are now seriously understaffed and cannot continue to run the shop fully. Bill and Helen are the only full time staff and I am sure you will appreciate that to operate 6 days a week is both unfair and an unrealistic burden on them. They have both put in more than we could have asked for, or expected over the past 9 months.

As a result, and in order that Helen, Bill and Susanne get at least two consecutive full days off a week, plus provide sufficient time to allow the shop to be stocked we are going to reduce the opening hours on certain days and close the shop one day a week. Whilst this is not ideal we feel it is necessary at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and if additional staff can be identified this will obviously help us and the community.

Therefore I am giving notice that with immediate effect, we will be closing the shop all day on Mondays until further notice. We will also shut the shop for a couple of hours on days when stock must be dealt with. We will try and give as much notice as possible of these short term closures during the working day.

Please respect these closures and plan accordingly. If you have any concerns please raise them with me, Chris Ball, rather than with the staff who are doing an excellent job in maintaining this vital service to the community through difficult times.

Finally, you may be wondering why we haven’t yet sold the shop. The process of the sale of Ferry Stores is a hugely time consuming activity which requires me to produce a lot of information and have the time to deal with it. Unfortunately, despite working more than full time (and I’m supposed to be retired) I just don’t have enough time. Dealing with the day to day issues and the more pressing aspects of managing the activities of an executor with a small but complex estate means that the big strategic issues get delayed. I am almost able to move forward now, but it will be a slow process.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding.


  1. As part of the summer influx, I can only say we'll appreciate still having a shop in Kilchoan at all, and will be happy to fit in with opening hours. I do hope more help can be found though, to take the pressure off Helen, Bill and Susanne! See you in September.....

  2. What a pity. Not great for tourists who pass through Kilchoan when the shop is closed. It must be very frustrating for Helen, Bill & co.

    Is it really that difficult to sell a small shop? Why not just put it on the market now and get some offers?

    I still think it's a shame that the community doesn't want to buy it - the shop on Eigg is a great example of what could be done.

    Hopefully a new owner who does have the time to run such an important community facility can be found soon.

  3. Thank yous Chris and everyone who has helped in any way. The masons