A TOWN centre trader celebrating 30 years in business has put his success down to the loyalty of his customers.
Richard Nutt took over the running of A Touch of Style in 1987 and has been selling watch straps, batteries and various “fancy goods” from behind its distinctive Effingham Street canopy ever since.
While many shops come and go, in just a few years Richard’s shop has stood the test of time - something he said he owed to building a customer base early on and offering essential items cheaply.
“I took it over from a bloke called Harold Smith, who was a fighter pilot in the war,” he said.
“My father-in-law actually bought it but he passed it on to me after a few months and I’ve been here ever since.
“People come in and say they can buy a watch strap for £15-20 in Meadowhall or Parkgate but it’s only about £4-5 here so they keep coming back.”
The shop’s rich history includes a spell as a chemist and another as a hairdressers.
Richard, who had previously worked in a DIY shop, admitted that running his own business had proved difficult for the first few years but he had battled through and now benefited from lots of repeat custom.
“I am now serving people whose parents used to come in, so people are passing me on down the generations,” said the trader, who added that his face was familiar to many people as he had featured in the media when he completed two charity bike rides.
“I’ve seen so many shops opening up and shutting down in the town centre and I think it must be hard to start up these days with competition from the Internet and elsewhere.
“But after all these years, I must be doing something right.
“I reckon I’ve got plenty more years in me left - I can reach 40 at least, and who knows, maybe 50?”