One of Britain’s oldest shops is closing – after the recession left owners unable to renew the 126-year-old lease.
The menswear shop – called The Famous – opened in 1896 selling trousers for 13 shillings (65p), a suit for 30 shillings (£1.50) and overcoats at 4/11 (24p).
It is one of the last shops in the country to operate a Lamson vacuum system to send money to a cashier’s office.
But owners of the family-run business selling men’s clothing now say it must close – because they cannot afford to renew the lease.
The Cole family have been renting the property from a private landlord since it opened but now cannot afford to keep it going.
It will close at the end of the year after 126 years of trading in Cheltenham, Glos.
Chairman Ross Cole, the great grandson of AN Cole, who bought the business in 1896 has worked at the shop for more than 50 years.
He said: “The building is very expensive to maintain and stay in and obviously we have felt the pinch quite a bit.
“This has been offering for the last two years and we knew we had reached the point where we had to make a decision either way.
“The business is still going well but we decided, after discussing among ourselves, that we simply couldn’t replicate what we have here in a modern shop premises.
“It’s a very sad day and I have already umpteen letters and phone calls from customers which brings tears to my eyes.
“We are very grateful for the tremendous support and loyalty we have recieved from our customers over so many years.”
Menswear director, Richard Cole, 36, said: “It is a shame and it will be missed by our customers, we have had some very long standing ones.
“We have had the lease since the opening of the shop, but the price of the lease has gone up in the recession.”
The shop will be holding a closing down sale from November 1. It will still operate a children’s clothing store in new premises in the spa town.
Martin Quantock, Cheltenham’s town centre manager, said: “The Famous menswear store is something of a landmark.
”There are not many people who went to school in Cheltenham who have not worn school uniform from there.”