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Tobacco shop shuts after more than a century

Linda and Sandy wave farewell
Linda and Sandy wave farewell

A tobacconist in Lancashire will take its last breath after 150 years in the business.

Reeders Tobacconists in Chorley is shutting up shop on Tuesday.

It comes 10 years after the smoking ban and as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are taking off with Chorley boasting at least 11 vape shops.

Sandra Perkins, manager at the Chapel Street store, said: “Unfortunately, we are closing down. Between rates and people selling underneath the counter we are just not making any money now.

“Customers have told us the tobacconist has been here for about 147 years. Whether that’s right or not I don’t know but the people who told us were 80 years old.

“It’s just not going on with these electric vapours.”

Sandra, who has worked in the store for 27 years, told the Post that visiting the tobacco shop is a social occasion for many of their customers.

“I will miss all that,” she said. “It is lovely talking to customers, we have got old customers that come in week on week.

“I feel sorry for the old men who won’t be able to get their specialist tobacco.”

Sandra, 59, started working at Reeders because the shop need a cashier to work the dinner hour.

It was the perfect job for her at the time as she had just put her son into nursery.

She has seen many changes over the years.

“Now everything is hidden behind cupboards,” she said. “Before everything was out on display.

“I’ve served people pushing their babies in their prams and now those babies have grown up and they are pushing their babies in prams.”

The closure of the store will see shop assistant Linda Mitchell, 66, go into retirement.

Chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance Malcolm Allen said he would be sorry to see Reeders Tobacconists go.

“It’s one of the oldest shops in Chapel Street,” he said. “It’s a very old established shop. I suppose with the smoking ban and the current trends of vaping they have suffered. Its a pity they are closing because it was one of the unique independent shops in Chorley.”

Reeders is one of the remaining few tobacconists in Lancashire as stores shut down in their droves in 2007 following the smoking ban.

Tobacconist My Smoking Shop in Penwortham opened as other stores were all closing and it is doing well despite all the odds.

Owner Simon Jackson says his success is down to exporting his products abroad through his online shop front.