VICKI Ryan had a childhood dream to own her own newsagency.

She realised that goal in March, 2011, when she bought the Mercer and Windley Newsagents shop on Ruthven St.

Over the years, Mrs Ryan built a strong rapport with daily customers buying their newspapers, scratch-it tickets and Golden Casket entries.

But with gaming going online, news readers heading to the digital sphere and the new Outer Circulating Road, Mrs Ryan has seen her customer numbers drop off, prompting a difficult decision to close the shop.

"It's very emotional," a teary Mrs Ryan said yesterday. "It's my business; it's been my life for four-and-a-bit years.

"To my customers, thank you very much - it's very emotional but thanks for everything."

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Mrs Ryan ran the Ruthven St shop with the help of daughter Debbie, son David and husband Richard who was by her side yesterday on the final day of trading.

Mrs Ryan has worked in newsagencies since 1977 and said there had been a number of major changes in the industry.

But it has been the Mercer and Windley store that has held a special place for the business owner with Mrs Ryan recalling fondly going to the shop with her mother to buy crochet cotton as a young child.

Do you still visit a newsagency at least once a week?

This poll ended on 10 July 2015.

Current Results

Yes

53%

No

46%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

After refitting the shop following the 2011 floods, Mrs Ryan worked to build up a loyal customer base.

"You do build up that rapport with your customers," she said.

"Customers value what you think, what you say and sometimes they come in with a few problems and you just listen to them and hope to help."

Mercer and Windley Newsagents, run by Vicki Ryan (right) and husband Richard Ryan, has closed after a downturn in business and changing customer trends.
Mercer and Windley Newsagents, run by Vicki Ryan (right) and husband Richard Ryan, has closed after a downturn in business and changing customer trends. Tara Miko

About 50 per cent of the shop's business was Golden Casket but with changing consumer trends to buying casket tickets online, the need for the Ruthven St store had diminished.

Combined with the reduced traffic due to the newly opened OCR, the business had become unviable.

"It is the end of an era," she said.

Mr and Mrs Ryan will now look to travel around Australia and cruise the Rhine River before returning to Toowoomba.



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