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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2007, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Family closes 206-year-old shop
Thomas Tucker shop
The owners said no-one was willing to buy it as a going concern
A family-run department store that is believed to be oldest shop in a Devon town has closed its doors.

Thomas Tucker first opened in Exmouth in 1801 as a drapery shop and has since been run by five families.

Ronald and Jean Benzie were the second generation of their family to run the shop, which stocked items across 30 different departments.

Mrs Benzie said their type of business was no longer growing and they could no longer afford to run it on their own.

The building has been sold to another retailer.

Regular customers

The store stocked clothes, some household goods and once housed a library.

Mrs Benzie said: "As an independent local company we could buy whatever we wanted, there were no central buyers.

"There was a unique mixture of things. There were regular customers who we bought for.

"But there was no one who was willing to buy it as a going concern."

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