A POPULAR Malton shop is to close this weekend due to increasing costs.

Universal Geek, in The Shambles, will cease trading on Saturday after four years in business.

The shop, which stocks toys and collectables, was opened by Mark Brannan and Sally Coultman, in July 2018.

Mark, who is originally from Scotland, has lived in Malton for 17 years and saw a gap in the market for fans of huge franchises such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Game of Thrones.

Together with Sally, they came up with a business idea and opened Universal Geek..

The pair later expanded their comic book store after developing relationships with suppliers and introduced new products to their stock including toys, collectables and even homeware.

However, Mark said they had now taken the difficult decision to close the shop.

"Sadly we have made the extremely tough decision to close down Universal Geek Ltd.

"Times have become extremely hard, not just for non essential retail businesses like ourselves, but to everyone."

Mark said: "Brexit made it extremely harder for us to source new products at a reasonable price to only have shipping and freight costs increase at the same time.

"The covid epidemic added lockdowns which seen our income drop to zero, and now with the current cost of living crisis affecting everyone, the money they did have after all bills etc are paid is considerably less and everyone has to make ends meet."

Mark added: "We have made so many new friends and brought smiles to peoples faces and that will stay with us forever.

"We want to thank everyone for there support over the past four years and continue to urge people to shop local.

We still have plenty of stock available for those wishing to support us in our final week.

The shop will remain open until Saturday, June 11.Again many thanks for all your support."