A PETWORTH menswear store is gearing up to change hands, after having been owned by the same family for nearly 50 years.
Allans Menswear, based in New Street, has been a core business in the town since the 1960s, attracting shoppers from far and wide.
Run today by Bob Sneller, 61, and brother Dick, 59, the youngest pair of seven brothers, the shop was bought by their parents Frederick and Marion in 1964, from a Major and Mrs Allan.
At one point the family owned up to four different shops in the town, and all seven brothers and both parents were key in their running.
However the brothers have decided that now is the right time to move on.
Bob said: ”Life moves on to other things.
“It’s a big decision and we have had terrifically loyal customers who have come from miles around.
“We have been marketing it for a couple of years and we wanted to make sure it was going to carry on, not only for the success of the town and other businesses in the town, but also for the sake of our customers because there are some we have known for 20 or 30 years who keep coming.”
The store is being taken over by Callum and Jan Mackay, and everyone involved in the handover is keen to emphasise that as far as the shop is concerned, it will be business as usual.
Callum said: “We are delighted to be taking over such a popular family business, and would like to thank Bob and Dick for their support and congratulate them for building such a great business, it is an institution in West Sussex.
“Allans has customers who are not only local but travel from all over the South of England to purchase gents clothing.”
Bob added: “We wish them a successful time and we are encouraging our existing customers to carry on and support them.
“Its a funny feeling to leave after all these years but best to do it while we’re fit and healthy.
“It’s a wrench but it’s a planned decision.”
Callum added: “I would like to reassure customers that we have no plans to change anything, we are very aware that continuity is vitally important, the shop provides a very specific service, we have lived in the area for ten years and are really looking forward to welcoming people into the shop.”