Marshalls of March to close: End of an era as town’s sports shop to shut after over 100 years in business

PUBLISHED: 14:55 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:31 06 January 2020

The team who worked at Marshalls of March in previous years. From back (left): Maureen Dowling, Sheila Frost, manager and Mary Roweth. Front (from left): Donna Mortimer, Alec Marshall, owner and Jane Frusher, current owner. Picture: JANE FRUSHER

The team who worked at Marshalls of March in previous years. From back (left): Maureen Dowling, Sheila Frost, manager and Mary Roweth. Front (from left): Donna Mortimer, Alec Marshall, owner and Jane Frusher, current owner. Picture: JANE FRUSHER

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The owner of a staple of March town centre said it has been “45 years of happy memories” as the shop sets to close its doors for the final time.

Marshalls of March on Broad Street is set to close after over 100 years in business. Picture: DAN MASONMarshalls of March on Broad Street is set to close after over 100 years in business. Picture: DAN MASON

Jane Frusher has worked at Marshalls since it turned into a sports and leather goods shop in the 1970s, before taking full control of the business.

Customers filtered through the door to make the most of time remaining, as the Broad Street outlet is set to become a Turkish barber in February after securing a deal last year.

"People don't shop in shops anymore as much as they used to because of online," Ms Frusher said.

"It is not competing with the online market, but it's getting people into small towns to shop in shops, plus we have got such high overheads, which is another thing.

"I have been talking about business rates for the past 20 years to local MPs. Steve Barclay got my rates reduced, but it is still a lot of money to meet every month."

Marshalls was taken over by the Marshall family from Doddington in 1912, running as both a sports and saddlers shop and has welcomed the likes of sporting figures Sir Geoff Hurst and Dave Boy Green.

But as the curtain begins to come down on one of March's few independent outlets, Ms Frusher believes it's the right time to move on.

"It is a bit like Woolworths; people expect us to be here," she said.

"People think there is not enough to offer on the high street anymore.

"I know the time is right now and I am happy to go on to new pursuits. It has been like a lifetime working here; 45 years of happy memories.

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"I have enjoyed the whole experience of retail, being able to provide quality items for people in March."

Perhaps the most lucrative item that the shop has ever sold amid the snooker cues and football boots were fireworks, which were a household product.

However, according to Ms Frusher, "they got very expensive and it was when there were a lot of organised displays."

One shopper was disappointed with the closure, claiming "we are losing shops all the time and we have got shops that we do not need.

"That is another good shop that has gone down the drain. Marshalls will be missed."


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