The owner of a shop that has closed after more than sixty years of trade has thanked his customers and staff for their support.
Stacey’s in The Street, Rustington, closed for good on Saturday after first opening in 1953.
Philip Nye decided to close due to lack of trade, and felt it was an ‘inevitable’ trend for small businesses.
But the 58-year-old from Littlehampton said a big thank you to his customers ‘past and present’, hundreds of which had visited in the last few weeks with cards and fond wishes.
He said: “I will miss the day-to-day running of the shop and the involvement in the community.”
Founded in 1953 by Ray and Iris Stacey, the ironmongers was opened in Claigmar Road and soon expanded. The shop then moved to its current location in 1964.
I will miss the day-to-day running of the shop and the involvement in the communityPhilip Nye
Ray’s nephew David Millidge and his wife Margaret took over the business and hired Philip as a sales assistant in 1995.
In 2003, Philip and his wife Angela became the new owners and extended the premises in 2009.
In the year they took over, the shop was joint runner-up in the Independent Hardware Retailer of the Year competition, a prestigious national award.
Philip remembers travelling to Manchester for the award ceremony and sitting at the same table as perma-tanned TV personality David Dickinson who presented them with their award.
Selling ironmongery and cookware, some bizarre product requests over the years included ball point pen refills and growlers for teddy bears.
Customers also took advantage of the free delivery service, with some cheekier shoppers asking for rotary lines to be sent to the Seychelles and garden rollers to Hong Kong.
Andy Cooper, chairman of the Rustington Chamber of Commerce, described the shop as a ‘dynasty’ and said he could remember his father having a Stacey’s trade account when he was a child.
He said: “It is very sad to see it go. Philip and Angela have worked very hard over the years to keep up the standards of Mr Stacey and bring something different to the village. They will be sorely missed.
“But as I have said many times before, these shops aren’t there to be looked at. You have to use them or lose them. If people don’t use their hard-earned cash in the shops they seem to love so much they will disappear.”
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