STAFF working at one of Tenbury’s oldest and most iconic stores are coming the terms with the heartbreak of learning that it will close after all.

In January it was announced that Bowketts was being put up for sale after 111 years in the town.

But a few weeks ago, it was announced that the store had been brought as a going concern and would continue to trade and provide a Post Office.

However, Bowketts have announced that the purchaser has withdrawn for personal reasons and that the store will close its doors for the last time at 7pm on Saturday, May 4.

The store has thanked loyal customers for their support and say that the decision has been taken with regret and that any gift vouchers or saving stamps will need to be redeemed before the closure.

In June 2017 Bowketts made a number of people redundant.

At that time the store said that the job cuts were in part a consequence of the plans for Tesco to open up in the town.

Tenbury currently has three supermarkets in the town centre, Bowketts, Tesco and Spa.

At the time that Tesco first announced that it was coming to Tenbury, opponents of the move expressed concern that the buying power of the national chain would make it hard for other shops in the town to compete, especially at a time when money is tight and more people buy on price.

Bowketts began as a butcher’s shop before becoming a supermarket and has been a feature of the town since 1908 and has been a family business from the outset.

George Bowkett, who died aged 102, in 2010, took over from his father William in 1938 although he had been working for the business since the 1920’s.

Bowketts has been at the heart of the community and a supporter of the Tenbury Community Swimming Pool.

The closure is a further example of the carnage on the High Street that has hit villages, towns and cities all over the country.

Tenbury has lost a number of shops in recent years although others have opened as well including a new butcher’s in the building that was Barclays Bank.

As well as competition from online outlets and larger stores, the small shops have also had to deal with on-going disruption in the town centre as a result of improvement works as well as a sluggish economy with shoppers being careful with their money compounded by uncertainty over Brexit.