A 100-year-old family business has closed its doors amid fears for the future of town centre businesses

PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 19 February 2020

Richard Bailey and his sister Mary Wakefield in Baileys Outfitters. Ref exe 08 20TI 8444. Picture: Terry Ife

Richard Bailey and his sister Mary Wakefield in Baileys Outfitters. Ref exe 08 20TI 8444. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Internet shopping and a drop in footfall have been blamed for the ‘sudden’ closure of a 100-year family business in Exmouth.

Baileys Outfitters. Ref exe 08 20TI 8450. Picture: Terry IfeBaileys Outfitters. Ref exe 08 20TI 8450. Picture: Terry Ife

Baileys Outfitters, in The Parade, shut for the last time on Saturday (February 15) bringing the curtain down on a century of trade in the town.

Richard Bailey, who ran the shop with his sister Mary Wakefield, is the third generation of his family to run the town centre business.

He said they have been able to get by with the holidaymaker trade but the drop off due to the rise of the internet marketplace and the lack of customers has forced him into retirement.

Mr Bailey said: "The time has come - we couldn't sell it as a going concern.

"The internet has got too big and the footfall has disappeared.

"Exmouth is suffering because of the that - I wouldn't encourage anyone to get into the trade, it's expensive to run a shop.

"The shop has been here for so long and people in Exmouth will miss us."

The 65-year-old has been running the shop for nearly 50 years after taking it over from his father Cyril Bailey who took it over from his father Ely Bailey.

Mr Bailey, who has lived in Exmouth all his life, said he doesn't know what he will do in retirement.

He said: "To be honest, it (retirement) has come very sudden.

"I couldn't say I am looking forward to it - I haven't got anything planned."

Mr Bailey said he has real fears for the future of independent shops in Exmouth and, in particular, in The Parade.

He said his shop was originally advertised to let but didn't get any interest. The building has now been sold and will be redeveloped as a new retail outlet.

Mr Bailey said: "It's going to be retail - I would like the shop to stay in retail, I would like to see more independent shops as it's a good advert for the town."

Mr Bailey and Mrs Wakefield thanked all the customers who have supported the business over the years.

- What needs to be done to help independent businesses? Let us know by sending a readers' letter to exmouth.letters@archant.co.uk


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