‘It was always there for us for whatever you wanted’ - customers of Shaws react to the store’s sudden closure

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The family-run chain has gone into liquidation and all stores have closed

The closure of the Shaws drapers store in Kingswood has been met with shock and sadness by its regular customers, many of whom didn’t know it had shut until they visited the shuttered and empty shop.

The high street store was part of a family-run national chain which went into liquidation after 106 years.

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Customer Marilyn had been using the shop ‘for years’ and said it was a ‘big loss’ for Kingswood. A keen knitter, Marilyn makes jumpers for her grandchildren, a hobby she started several years ago when she knitted for her own children.

“I knit jumpers for children up to a certain age and I like to see and feel the wool. Now I’ll have to go over to Downend to buy it.

“I didn’t realise Shaws was closing - I came up to get some toggles and I found an empty shop with the shutters down.

“The people working there weren’t told anything and they didn’t know when their last working day was or whether they still had a job.

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“It was always there for us and there for whatever you wanted. I needed a little brush to clean the back of the fridge recently and Shaws had one - where will I go now for these things? I came here for curtains and bed sheets, but mainly for wool and there are very few wool shops around now.”

Gordon Brown lives in Staple Hill but shops in Kingswood because that’s where his bank is. He didn’t realise Shaws had shut until he saw the empty shop.

“What a pity,” he said, looking at the shuttered shop frontage. “When my wife was alive, we used to go in there to buy our drapery and curtains, it was always there for what you needed. I only come up to Kingswood for the bank because we don’t have one in Staple Hill and I’m not online.”

Ken and Sheila were ‘shocked’ to find Shaws the drapers closed and shuttered after the company went into liquidationKen and Sheila were ‘shocked’ to find Shaws the drapers closed and shuttered after the company went into liquidation
Ken and Sheila were ‘shocked’ to find Shaws the drapers closed and shuttered after the company went into liquidation

Sheila and Ken live the other side of Keynsham and they had made the journey just to visit Shaws and were shocked to see it closed.

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Sheila said: “We had no idea it had closed. We’ve bought loads of stuff over the years, we’ve shopped here at least 40 years. I’m really shocked.

“We came up today for sheets and bedding but I used to get my wool here. It will be really missed and the staff were so nice and pleasant, it’s such a shame. It’s sad all these places are closing - you never know what will close next.”

Vanda said she used Shaws ‘a lot’ over the years and recently bought wool there as she knits for her great grandchildren.

“I’ll have to go online now but a lot of older people aren’t online. I must have been coming here since the 1980s, it’s terrible.

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“It’s sad for Kingswood but then it’s the same everywhere, even the Galleries and The Mall have empty shops. It’s sad to see shops close on local high streets.”

Monica Sheasby has lived in the area for 50 years and was a regular at Shaws, as were her two daughters.

“We’re non-stop knitters so it’s a real blow for us. It was so sudden, even the staff didn’t know it was closing down.

“It was such a a lovely store and we’ll really miss it. I’m not online so I’ll now have to go to Downend to buy my wool - I like to see and feel what I’m buying.”

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