‘Difficult decision’ to close Portsmouth butcher’s shop after 54 years

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A FAMILY butchers is to close after 54 years of service to their community. 

MS King and Son in Milton Village will close on September 15 after owner Kevin King, 54, took the ‘difficult decision’. 

Butchers Kevin King, centre, his father, Malcolm, right, and James Smith are pictured outside the shop. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Butchers Kevin King, centre, his father, Malcolm, right, and James Smith are pictured outside the shop. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘I have a job opportunity which is just too good to turn down. It was a really hard decision but it will enable me to have more time with my family which is a massive factor,’ explained Kevin.

Kevin has worked in the butchers since he was five, initially starting as a ‘Saturday boy’ under the supervision of his father, Malcolm.

‘I bought the business in 1964 and I know there has been a local butchers on this site since around 1930,’ said Malcolm. 

Believed to be one of the oldest butchers in the area the shop has served the community for almost 90 years.

‘Local shops such as this are at the heart of our community. We pride ourselves on providing a personal service. Our customers are not just a number they are also our friends. A big part of my day is the conversation I have with people,’ explained Kevin.

Regular customers Sian Williams and Alan Cuncliffe believe the closure of the shop will be a ‘massive loss to the community’.

‘I was ‘gutted’ when I heard the butchers were closing. Local shops are a big part of people’s everyday lives. For some people the interaction they have with Kevin and fellow shoppers may be the only people they speak to that day. That will be sorely missed,’ explained Sian.

Malcolm and Kevin believe the closure of the butchers is part of a trend due to increased competition.

Malcolm said: ‘There used to be 22 shops in the village including three butchers and a chip shop and now there are only four. It all really started 15 years ago when the post office closed as this was at the hub of the community.’

‘It is a lot harder now than when I started as there is far greater competition from supermarkets and online retailers,’ added Kevin.

Alan Cuncliffe is concerned about the impact this is having on local retailers. ‘Eventually it is going to end up where you only go to supermarkets which is really sad,' explained Alan.

Kevin and Malcolm plan to host drinks at the shop to say goodbye to their ‘massively loyal customers’. ‘I would just like to thank everyone for their support,’ said Kevin.