Family-run store is set to close its doors

From left to right: Edward McKee, employee Ceri Ellison and Steve McKee at AFS Country Store in Alnwick.
From left to right: Edward McKee, employee Ceri Ellison and Steve McKee at AFS Country Store in Alnwick.

A family-run business which has been serving customers for nearly 40 years is closing.

AFS Country Store, in Alnwick, will be shutting its doors for the last time at 5pm tomorrow.

Managing partner Steve McKee said that, in the current climate, he felt the time was right to call it a day.

He told the Gazette: “It is very sad, but how long do you keep going on for? The rates will increase and the sales aren’t going to increase alongside it to justify staying open.”

The business was formed by Steve’s father Edward in 1977. It moved to South Road in 1982 and has been operating from its current premises, at Sawmill Industrial Estate, since 2008.

The store has sold a range of items, from equestrian equipment to country sportswear, animal feeds and pet food.

Steve, who took over the reins from his dad, said: “I would like to say a big thank-you to all of our loyal customers over the years.

“My father started the business and it is only right that he should see it end properly.”

The family is changing its focus to the other side of the business, which is a mobile seed processing service. It is based on South Road, Alnwick.

Steve said: “This is where we will be putting our attention and we will try to build it up.”

Two people are employed at AFS Country Store, but when it closes tomorrow, they will move across to help with the mobile seed processing service.

Steve said: “We are keeping the staff, because we need them and they are like part of the family.”

Some stock is still left at the store and is for sale at a reduced price.

Steve said: “People should come in and grab themselves a bargain.”