Channon’s to close after 47 years


Channon’s Country Store, a Rye retail stalwart since 1977, is closing.

The news leaked out last week and spread fast, with local people expressing a mixture of shock, sadness and surprise that what appeared to be a fixture of Rye was putting up the shutters.

A Channon’s manager informally confirmed that “the decision has been taken”, although it’s unclear at this stage when the premises will actually be vacated. It seems most likely this will occur after most of the stock has been sold.

Reasons fo the closure largely appear to be related to the economic impact of the pandemic, retail shutdowns during that period and difficult trading conditions for the store since then.

At the moment, stock in the store is being sold at half price. According to the firm’s website, the store retails up to 10,000 product lines — including pet and commercial stock feed, farming supplies, fertilizer, fencing, country clothing, horse riding items, shooting accessories and camping gear.

At this stage, it’s hard to assess the impact on Rye and district of the iconic store’s closure, but it seems certain that the local farming community will be most affected. Channon’s central location and helpful service made it an important community asset, especially for farmers and country people.

Channons Country Store 2014

Image Credits: Edward Evans , Nick Forman .

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  1. It is with great sadness that we learned that Channons Farm Store is closing. I knew Martyn Channon at the very beginning when he traded from a luton van, visiting farms and supplying the goods needed by the very many farmers that made up the rural community in those days. My father akways used Channons for the dog and cat food we needed for our Boarding Kennels, even when pressed to save money by buying elsewhere or online. Hs view was ‘always support your local traders. The day you need something urgently you want them to be there!’
    So thank you Channons for the years of great service and supply. You have fed our animals, fenced our paddocks, warmed our feet with your marvellous socks, kept the rain from our backs and my washing up gloves (dairy quality) are entering their third year. We wish you every success in whatever comes next.

  2. This is very sad news. As a regular customer, my heart goes out to the staff. It’s a great shame that a landmark business and one emblematic of the town’s rural character is to disappear. Notwithstanding the influence on trade of the pandemic, it gives me no pleasure to say this news appears to stand in contrast to our MP’s report on SME’s in the Letter’s page…

  3. Heartily agree with Bernie and Morganne above. Martyn Channon
    and his family and their staff have supported the farming community
    around Rye for decades – always with a friendly and knowlegeable
    approach and a willingness to deliver where needed. Their Store was
    a great meeting place for farmers, gardeners and animal lovers,
    specially on Wednesday mornings which had seen the weekly cattle/
    sheep market before car parking and the Frances Thursday market replaced it.

  4. Yes another nail in the coffin for us DIY enthusiasts Martin Channons they were always very knowledgeable and helpful another trip to Wicks in Ashford just as well we use the Ashford Cinema , I wonder if we are going to have another tea rooms or coffee shop or what about an Antique Shop .

  5. I also heartily agree with the comments above. I have been a regular customer and this does demonstrate the importance of supporting our local businesses. If we don’t, we lose them. I have always enjoyed going there, always welcoming and helpful and I shall miss them. In spite of their difficulties they continued to generously sponsor The Rotary Club of Rye and Winchelsea in our fundraising events every year. I wish them all the very best.

  6. So terribly sad about Channons. I have used them for 40 years. The team were so incredibly helpful especially as I was learning in the early years. I am so very sad and wish something could be done to save this valuable institution. Thank you Martyn and the all the team that followed over the years. I will really miss you.


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