TWO long-standing Minehead shops are set to shut after more than 30 years of trading in the town centre.

Minehead Sports on The Avenue closes this Friday after more than 20 years, while the Exmoor Producers Association Shop based in Friday Street has announced it closing in January after 11 years trading in the town.

The Exmoor Producers Association Shop will be shutting down on January 13 after starting its journey 22 years ago.

Shop manager Sue Taphouse said the closure was down to changing shopping habits.

She said: “We have had some extremely successful years, but as people’s circumstances and shopping habits have changed and so many now shop online, it is no longer viable to keep the shop open.”

The EPA was originally set up in 1995 to promote businesses that made things in the Greater Exmoor Area. The shop first opened in 2001 at the Washford Mill Complex, but when the shopping centre closed it moved to the Friday Street location in 2006.

The shop operates on a strict ‘making rule’ and only sells goods in the shop that have been made in the local area, from cushions to coaster, jam and jewellery. The association has seen around 98 members over the decades, and in that time has sold nearly £750,000 of handmade items.

Association chairman Phil Taphouse said: “This proved to be a simple and inspired way of selling members’ goods, it has proved to be so robust that it hasn’t needed changing at all.We are not alone in finding trading on the high-street almost impossible at the moment. We are very proud of what we have achieved and want to thank our customers."

Minehead Sports announced the news on its Facebook page, saying there would be a closing down sale, and stating: "We would like to thank everyone who has been a customer for their support over the last 20 years."