Otley 20p Shop: Owners say it’s ‘probably the cheapest shop in the world’ and they’re looking to expand

The market town of Otley is perfectly sandwiched between the hubbub of bustling city life in Leeds and the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales.

While the town’s famous cobbled streets and rich history are a draw in their own right, a number of tourists have instead traveled to this beautiful area to take a peek inside the famous 20p store.

“Otley is a small town, so it’s a focal point,” said Stewart Nelson, 28, who owns the shop with his father Steven and mother Angela Nelson.

The Otley 20p Shop

The store which started as a 20p Aladdin’s cave market stall five years ago has since grown into a tourist attraction in its own right, as well as a community centre.

Stewart said: “We’ve had so much media attention, people are coming from all over. Locals regularly come to socialize. They enter, look and discuss.

“There’s this community feel to the store, so we know the regulars by name. Lots of older people come in to chat.

The 20p store is also full of surprises offering a wide range of items from new consoles to used bric-a-brac. Stewart and her parents routinely rummage through the pallets and packages they purchased containing thousands of items.

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The main draw for customers — who are as diverse as the stock, ranging from Tiktoking tourists to the elderly — is the price, said Stewart, a marketing graduate.

He said: “We are the cheapest store in Britain, possibly the world. We’ve shown businesses and the general public that it can be done and things don’t have to be expensive.

“We are trying to cut costs, which is essential, but it is very difficult to keep the lights on. We are not millionaires.

Despite this, Stewart insists the price won’t change as the cost of living rises, like many other budget stores that are raising their prices.

The family business is determined to continue, with Stewart often working from 6am until 9pm.

He said: ‘We are struggling to stay afloat like many small businesses in the current climate.

But the 20p shop has seen growth.

He adds: “We are considering setting up a boutique in Ripon. It might work from what we’ve seen. Where we could hold as much stock as possible. And it’s even a bet.

Stewart is looking for an owner offering low cost rental space in the area.

The Otley 20p shop is open daily from 9am to 5pm except Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

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