SHOP LOCAL: A shop that’s served generations

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Mums and dads in South Holland have been dressing their sons for school with the help of a Spalding fashion shop for decades.

The unmistakable bottle green carrier bags from Mann and Son in Hall Place has been a regular part of the Spalding shopping experience since John William Mann opened its door for the first time in February 1911.

John, or Jack to his family and friends, had no idea his service of supplying menswear and schoolwear to the masses would survive two World Wars, numerous recessions and three generations of the Mann family.

But as grandson and current owner Nigel Mann, currently in his 40th year at the helm of the family business, said: “The strengths of an independent business are clearly down to individuality and personal service, without the constraints of a large conglomerate.

“Over the past 103 years, the business has gone from strength to strength and indeed has been described as the ‘lifeblood’ of the town centre. This is due to the support of our loyal customers, great individual service, competitive pricing and the attention to detail we offer to everyone who comes to see us.”

There are both personal and business customers who would recommend Mann and Son as a worthy subject for the Guardian’s Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, supporting independent retail, catering and leisure businesses across South Holland. Businesses like Mann and Son in Crowland, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Spalding rely on the continuing loyalty of their customers for survival and growth as they compete against the big high street chains.

Nigel said: “I am proud to be at the helm of a business that gives great customer service and our principle of ‘superb quality at a sensible price’ still continues today.

“Our success is best illustrated by our school uniform department and for well over 60 years, we have been the local stockist for Spalding Grammar School and Sir John Gleed School, ensuring that customers are totally satisfied with their goods.”