Bob hanging up his Top Hat and Tails

Bob Hughes' shop Top Hat and Tails will close at the end of the month

Bob Hughes' shop Top Hat and Tails will close at the end of the month - Credit: Archant

A PORTISHEAD gift shop will close at the end of March after more than 20 years in Portishead High Street.

Owner Bob Hughes says he will be sad to leave Top Hat and Tails, the existing gift shop he took over 16 years ago.

Bob’s decision comes after a decline in sales over the past five years at the shop which sells exclusive gifts, cards and handmade chocolates.

He said: “Closing up for the last time will be a sad day but, despite the expansion of Portishead, there is no longer the footfall in the High Street there was.

“I fear stores opening in other areas of the town draw shoppers away from the High Street, which was once the main shopping centre.”

Bob has slashed the prices of his stock in his final clearance sales which has attracted a lot of new customers.

He added: “It’s ironic that a closing down sale should attract so many new faces to the shop, we needed these customers on a regular basis to help keep us open.

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“I would however like to thank all our faithful, regular customers who have supported us over the years, I have loved working in Portishead and being a part of the community.”

While Bob hopes to take up semi-retirement, it is business as usual for his wife’s gift shop, Gems, in Hill Road, Clevedon, where Bob will be helping out on a casual, part-time basis.

Meanwhile a new business is set to take over the premises at 52 High Street in Portishead.

Women’s clothing shop Flagship Boutique plans to open in early April after a few alterations.