Unbeatable competition from supermarkets has been given as the main reason why Helston's only in-town fruit and vegetable shop is to close this Friday, after three years in business.

Sisters Paula Nicholls and Debbie James said the decision had “not come lightly” but it was no longer financially viable to keep Fruit & Veg 4 U going.

Now customers of shop in Meneage Street will have to head to one of the out-of-town supermarkets, or to the independent businesses operating from their gardens, which Paula said had also added to the problem.

She explained: “We've been beaten by the supermarkets and also people doing veg boxes from their homes. A Lidl leaflet says you can get a pepper for 32p; we couldn't even buy a pepper in for 32p. And not enough customers are coming in.

“I think it will be a real loss to the town.”

Paula said the pair had been on a “rollercoaster of emotion” since making the decision, adding: “We have had real tears. What we're going to be like when we lock the doors I don't know.

“We're very sad and are going to miss everybody. We've enjoyed every minute of it.

“We want to thank all our loyal customers. We are sorry to let the older generation down -we have become very fond of them and we do deliveries for them. That's the upsetting part. We have got a bit close to them.”

The sisters have already found new jobs, still working together, housekeeping at Praa Sands.