Portishead shop Morgan Westley to shut after three decades
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 October 2018
A business which has been a central pillar of Portishead’s High Street and community for more than three decades has announced it will close.
Stationery shop Morgan Westley will shut its doors for the final time in February as its owners Matt and Rosemary Westley transition into a well-earned retirement.
The business was started by Rosemary in 1966, before her and her husband Matt opened the High Street shop in 1985 – stocking products ranging from computer supplies to jigsaw puzzles.
However the time has come to cease trading at the shop after 33 years, with Matt citing Rosemary’s ill health and a difficult retail market as motivating factors behind the decision.
Matt told the Times he will be ‘very sad’ when the store closes for good, but admitted he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife without the pressures of being a busy business owner.
He said: “My wife’s been ill and I’m nearer 80 than 70 so the time is right. I’ll be happy to spend more time with her and I’ll be happy to not wake up at dawn every day.
“It takes a lot of energy to run a shop six days a week.
“People don’t shop on high streets as much as they used to, and our overheads have skyrocketed.
“But we have been here since 1985 and it’s going to be very sad.
“We will be quite upset when we close the doors for good in February.”
Morgan Westley has also become something of a box office for community events, selling tickets for a wide selection of shows, suppers and seminars over the years.
Matt is pleased the business has been able to play a supporting role for community groups, and is ‘proud’ the shop has become important to the people of Portishead.
He said: “We’ve become a one-stop shop for tickets, and we like doing it for the town.
“We sell what our customers want, having adapted a lot over the years and surviving several recessions.
“We have known many of our customers since they were children.
“The hardest part will be saying goodbye.
“We are going to miss everyone.”