Gilly quits in freebie row

Nailsea Chamber of Trade president steps down.

Nailsea Chamber of Trade president steps down. - Credit: Archant

A CAFÉ owner has resigned as president of Nailsea Chamber of Trade during a row with Waitrose for offering customers free hot drinks.

Gilly Chu, owner of Gilly’s Café in High Street, has said it is against her principles to share a platform with a national retailer which she claims is jeopardising local businesses.

She said: “It is totally incompatible with my business morals and principles to share a platform with a National retailer, Waitrose, which, in the process of waging a loyalty card war with Tesco, sees independent High Street retailers as collateral damage.”

Waitrose has angered a number of local businesses by offering free teas and coffees to customers who sign up to its loyalty scheme.

Gilly added: “A freebie is a freebie, so why pay at Café 119, Gilly’s, or Costa etc?

“My decision not to renew our subscription has not been taken lightly but with a heavy heart as I do care about my community.

“Trade and commerce can only survive when a price is paid for goods. Retailers can only pay rents and rates when customers purchase stock.”