Shutters come down at Stevens

R W Stevens and Co shop front
R W Stevens and Co shop front

A southside tailoring business which has traded for a remarkable 66 years has decided to close its doors for the final time.

The partners of RW Stevens & Co decided that with the growing trend of online and out-of-city shopping centres, there was no point in pushing against an ‘oncoming tide’.

The southside icon, located on the corner of Deanston Drive and Skirving Street has hardly changed from its inception in the 50s - the awnings, wooden facade and shop signage still marking the Glasgow institution out as something special from a bygone era.

Paul Davie and his business partner, Douglas Stevens, have clothed literally thousands of schoolchildren on the southside having specialised in school uniforms.

Paul told The Extra: “The closure has been a few years coming to be honest as we’ve seen trends change drastically in the last few years, particularly with online shopping.

“It’s difficult to compete with those cheaper prices when we have staff and overheads to factor into the equation.

“The economic situation in Scotland hasn’t helped us either with the sale of the business. After the Brexit decision, people thought that there would be some big changes, people panicked, and were no longer willing to invest. For us, unfortunately we’re retiring at the wrong time, if there ever could be such a thing!

“Maybe if we had decided to do this a few years ago, or even if we had waited another couple of years things would have changed, but the die was set and retirement beckoned.

We’re not closing down because we’re not making money, we’re closing down because we’re getting too old now.

“If I’m being quite honest, when the decision was made by both Douglas and myself to close the doors at the end of this month, there was some relief as well as sadness. Running a business like ours means that family time is often sacrificed, particularly Saturday’s.

“Now we’re looking forward to enjoying some quality time together.

“I’m going to be able to give more of my time to the Scouts who I volunteer with as an outdoor instructor, as well as heading off to Vancouver to see my three-year-old grandson. Then we’re going to look at taking a cruise up to Alaska and start enjoying the fruits of our endeavours.”