A family-owned shop is to close after more than 60 years of trading. 

R N Peace has been a fixture on Witney High Street since 1952.

Owner Robert Peace, who sells high quality household linen and bedding, is holding a closing-down sale before moving the business totally online. 

He said: "There are two reasons we are closing - one I need to retire and two, the decision was made a bit easier by the drop off in trade.

“There’s just no footfall on the high street. It’s just a fact of life, Covid put everyone online. They don’t come into the shop.

“You see it throughout the town. It’s just a different mindset. You buy online and I buy online, it arrives next day and if you don’t like it you send it back.

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"Why wouldn't you? It’s the obvious thing to do."

R N Peace and Company was started by Robert's father, Richard Peace.

It originally sold just blankets to the health service and hotel and catering trade.

Witney is famous for its blanket industry, which started in the 17th century, and was once the towns major employer, with mills dotted around the town.

After 300 years it came to an end in 2002 when the last mill, Early's in Burford Road, was closed. 

Over the years R N Peace grew into a specialist shop with a vast range of high quality bed linen and associated products.

Four long-serving staff will be leaving the business, some of whom will retire.

“They’re all terrific,” said Mr Peace, “and they’ve known about this for a long time. They can see what’s happening, it hasn’t come out of the blue.”

Mr Peace himself, who is 70, will not completely give up working as he will continue to put up curtains and blinds.

He added: “Closing the shop would be more of a wrench if we were still buzzing and really busy then I would not be contemplating this. But I’m closing under my own terms which is what I wanted to do.

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“I feel a bit bad about it but it was a decision I was always going to have to make and my children aren’t interested in taking over – it wouldn’t make any sense for them to do that."

Mr Peace said the lack of footfall had little to do with traffic restrictions on the high street.

“Don't get me started on that," he joked. "But it does not really affect us. When the shop opened in the 1950s we were in the middle of town but now people say to me, you’re too far out.

"There’s still plenty of cars and traffic up here but we don’t get the people.”