Closure of stationery firm blamed on works

TRAM disruption has been blamed for the closure of one of Leith’s longest-established stationers.

Owners of Andrew Ovens Stationers in Constitution Street said the combination of the chaos created by tram works on Leith Walk and the credit crunch had killed the business, which will close on Friday after more than 70 years of trading.

The business, which was founded in 1939, sells everything from envelopes and pens to printer cartridges,

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Director Duncan Small, 42, who took over the company with John MacDonald and Phil Calvert in 2007, said: “Ever since we took over the company, with the combination of tram works and the general economic situation, it’s just struggled along.

“The trams were a definite factor over the times that Constitution Street and Leith Walk were being dug up.

“It was a difficult experience to go through and I suppose we are still potentially paying for it with the farcical situation that the tram works have thrown up. It’s difficult to compete with other bigger suppliers that have got a national coverage and can offer big discounts. That’s what we were always up against.”

The firm, which recorded “very poor” sales over the winter, will make four members of staff redundant.

Mr Small added: “It’s just very unfortunate that something that’s been part of Leith for so long is now having to close its doors, and there’s the sad fact of letting people down in terms of redundancies.”

The business was set up by Andrew Ovens and his son Allan 72 years ago.

The stationers is holding a sale this week to clear the shop of all remaining stock.

Mr Small said: “On behalf of the Ovens family and ourselves, we would like to thank all the customers who have been loyal to the business.”