Rising internet sales leads to shop closure

PUBLISHED: 08:17 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:16 15 June 2010

THE internet is to blame for the closure of one of Honiton's most unusual and fascinating shops.

THE internet is to blame for the closure of one of Honiton's most unusual and fascinating shops.Collectables, in High Street, is an Aladdin's cave of weird and wonderful goods, but will close on Saturday, September 20, after 14 years.Owner Chris Guthrie says the move follows an increase in business over the internet."I do this on my own and it's a full-time job," he said. "I've been selling over the internet, on eBay, for six or seven years and sales have built up."I want to be able to free up my time, so that I can go to auctions to look for items people are requesting and also to enjoy a slower pace of life."At the moment, I'm in the shop and then doing the internet side of the business in the evenings."Selling anything and everything from old Jackie annuals to Victorian china and railway memorabilia, Collectables is jam-packed with an assortment of goods - from antiques to modern items of interest to collectors.Although Mr Guthrie sells antique cameras, Mickey Mouse and M&Ms memorabilia, he says it is his 'railwayana' that prompts the most interest."It's the history of railways," he said.With the introduction of strict no smoking laws in enclosed public spaces, Mr Guthrie has noticed a sharp increase in sales of ashtrays and items from breweries, popular with people who have 'Duckworth'-style home bars.Militaria, badges and cigarette cards are also of interest to collectors.Mr Guthrie has customers all over the world and says the internet has allowed his business to reach out to a wider audience.He is looking forward to enjoying some form of semi-retirement and hopes to be able to indulge in his hobbies - walking and gardening."I'd like to thank people for their support during my 14 years in the shop, as well as visitors who come to see me every year when they are on holiday," he said."The shop is a profitable business, but very time-consuming. It's the right time to move on and I'm really excited about it.

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