AFTER more than 30 years in business, a popular town centre bag store will close its doors for the final time next weekend (September 30).
Gladstone Bags has been trading in Warwick Street, Worthing, since 1981, and prior to that was based in the Montague Centre.
Current owners Eddie and Pamela Hurcombe took over the business in 1997, and said they have had a largely happy time during their 15-year tenure.
Eddie, 66, said: “We had a 15-year lease which has come to an end, and as we’re at retirement age, we decided it was time to go.”
Pamela, 70, added: “We would very much have liked to have sold the business on, so it could have continued. We did try, but we couldn’t find a buyer.
“When we have told people we’re going they are very sad, because they can’t get that level of personal service elsewhere.”
Eddie said: “We are sad to go. Our customers have become like friends and we will miss them.”
The Gladstone Bags building dates back to 1805, when it was built by the Earl of Warwick as a residence. It ceased to be a residential home when it was set up as a library in the 1820s. A hundred years later, in 1929, it sold gowns and furs, before becoming Marie Lott in 1932, which was a court dressmakers.
In 1960, it changed hands and became Acres the Bakers, and then a Tip Top bakery, before it was turned into a fast food outlet prior to becoming Gladstone Bags.
The couple say they will spend their retirement taking up more hobbies and spending more time with their family.
The business will close for good on September 30, and in the meantime, there is an ongoing closing down sale.