A CLOTHES shop in Tiverton is set to leave the town after 25 years, and will be replaced with a charity shop, sending the number in the town into double figures.
The lease at QS in Bampton Street expires in January and the landlord has secured a new tenant for the shop.
All registered charity shops are entitled to 80 per cent business rate relief and Tiverton already has nine charity shops, and not one but two more are now lined up to come to the town.
Exeter Leukaemia Fund is set to open a charity shop next week in the former premises of Vacation World, which has been empty for the last six months, it will be joined in the town by Children's Hospice South West, which will occupy the QS premises when it closes.
Denise Bolt, supervisor at QS, said unfortunately the company's head office had advised the five staff they would not be ale to relocate the business within the town, so it is set to shut, although whether this would be before Christmas or in the New Year was unclear.
She said customers had been sad to learn the shop was closing.
"A lot of people have been quite upset about the news because they buy lots of things here," she said.
"I have got nothing against charity shops, but they aren't actually that cheap, sometimes they are selling second-hand items at a more expensive price than we do new."
Denise said she had worked in the shop for 11 years, but two of her colleagues had worked in the shop for more than 20 years. when it was previously known as Second Thoughts and Richleys.
She said staff wanted to thank all the customers who had supported the store over many years.
She added: "It's nice seeing people's lives unfold. We have people coming in with children who are nine or 10 years old and you remember them being pregnant."
Children's Hospice South West, which provides care for life-limited children and their families at its three sites including one in North Devon, currently has 17 charity shops at various locations around the South West.
Jonathan Webber, director of finance at Children's Hospice South West, confirmed the charity was hoping to open the Tiverton shop in the New Year.
He said: "Our charity shops are an important means by which we raise the much-needed funds we need to support our services.
"We are currently opening a number of shops in the South West region and we choose their locations based on where we feel our shops can be most successful, as well as best serving the needs of the local community."
Exeter Leukaemia Fund will open its new store on Monday and is contacting local supporters to ask for donations for sale in the shop.
Dale Edwards, ELF chief executive, said: "Significant research was undertaken before deciding Tiverton and the property at Fore Street would be the ideal location to expand our retail network. Along with a vibrant supporter group there are many people in the Tiverton area who are affected by leukaemia and other blood conditions.
"I am confident the income generated will help provide the support, research and equipment, which is desperately needed."