A much-loved village store has announced it will be closing its doors for good next month.

Hurst Village Stores located on The Street in Hurst is to close on Tuesday, April 11.

Manager of the store Jayne Overington said: "I was asked to gather all my staff at 11am Tuesday, March 21.

"I knew it didn't sound good. We got told the store would be closing.

"We aren't making enough money, not enough footfall or local interest.

"We are all being made redundant. We were shocked."

Speaking about the struggles the store has faced over the last few months, Jayne said: "I think there has been a big decline in footfall since Covid.

"We were really busy through Covid because there are quite a few elderly people in our village and they didn't want to travel to big supermarkets and queue.

"I think the world hasn't got back to normal for businesses since." 

The store has been serving the local community for over 110 years, with Best Way Retail being the most recent manager of the store.

Hurst Village Stores includes a Post Office and off-licence, with papers and food on offer.

The store also has an in-store bakery with fresh croissants, bread, patisseries and savoury pies.

Jayne has been managing the store for 12 years.

"I love it. I love getting it open in the morning and ready for customers," Jayne said.

"We have regulars who pop in and get the newspaper and a pint of milk.

"It is going to be a massive blow to the village. I'll be sad to see the business close down. 

"We still have a lot of elderly people in the business, they don't drive and we don't have a very good bus service."

Villagers have shared their sadness about the news, with one resident saying "really sad, such an asset to Hurst."

Other locals have begun calling for people to shop more locally.

It is not yet known what will happen to the post office in the town, situated within the store.

The in-store post office legally needs to give 12 months' notice before closing, so it is not yet known what will happen to the branch, which is currently run by two members of staff.