AFTER 41 years of trade, a charity shop much-loved by the community has closed its doors.
The Oxfam shop in Bayford Road, Littlehampton, held an open day today as a way of saying goodbye to its customers.
Cake and refreshments were provided as shoppers looked around the shop one final time and books were given to children for free.
Iola Davies, the shop’s manager and only paid member of staff, said it was a sad occasion.
She said: “People have come in here and said how much they are going to miss the shop. We are all really upset because we all know it’s going to leave a gap in the community.”
When asked why the shop had proved so popular over the years, she said: “It was a real a community shop. When people came in here they got a really high level of customer service. People didn’t come in here just to buy stuff. They knew we were a friendly crowd. There’s no where else really (like it) in Littlehampton.”
Oxfam decided to close the shop because the contribution it made towards the charity’s fundraising efforts was not enough to justify its running costs.
Iola was keen to point out the decision had nothing to do with the arrival of the adjacent Fireside Bookshop. She said that business had actually improved since the new bookshop opened.
Around 28 volunteers helped at the shop, which focussed on selling music and books over the last ten years.
In a letter addressed to those who expressed concern about the closure, Oxfam said: “We very much value the contribution made by all of our supporters in Littlehampton over the years: those who have donated money and goods and the many volunteers who have worked in the shop. We are very sorry that you have been disappointed at the shop closure.”