Online shopping and poor trading conditions have forced one of the oldest luxury jewellers and watch sellers in Tunbridge Wells High Street to shut down.
Payne & Son Ltd, which originally started as Payne & Son (Silversmiths) in Kent in 1790 and then opened an outlet in the town 146 years ago, has had to close its doors for goods due to a downturn in business.
On its own website it lists Frederique Constant, Edox, Mondaine and Rotary as key watch brands that it sells.
The jewellery store endured a tough Christmas and concluded it could no longer compete during times where a large proportion of sales are made online.
In a messgae posted on its Facebook page, sales consultant Jo Wicker said: “It is with deep regret that I and my colleagues, Denise M. Haigh and Gill Lambert, have to inform you that, due to ongoing economic difficulties and a poor Christmas trading period, we have been left with no other option than to close the business.”
Wicker said the company anticipates the closure happening in mid-end April 2016, once it has disposed of as much stock as possible.
She placed on record the shop’s thanks for all the support it has received from customers over the years.
Local press reports said footfall and spend at the retailer had fallen 25% versus 2014, with the company attributing competition from the internet as one of the main challenges.