Another Town shop shuts as independents battle internet
SOME of the island's oldest independent retailers are struggling or closing, as Town's traders feel the growing pressure of online shopping.
SF Tabel, a clothing shop that has been in Fountain Street for two generations of the Tabel family, is the latest to be closing, following the death of Hugh Tabel's father, Robert Stanley.
'My father passed away in April and I have no real interest in carrying on in the clothing business,' Mr Tabel said.
'Rent wasn't the problem, as dad owned the free-holding on the building, and as the landlord I will try to keep retail on the street and add to Fountain Street's offering.'
Mr Tabel said one of the reasons he was not interested in continuing the shop, which was purchased by his grandfather, Stanley Frank, over 60 years ago, was the difficult nature of retail.
'It is not for the faint-hearted and not for me,' he said.
'There is a lot of competition from the internet. My dad said he noticed a while ago that people would come into the shop, try on some jeans, get their size, then go home and order them off the internet.
'It is part of Town's history and it is a shame to lose it – I had to think long and hard over it.'