Humphreys co-owner Mark Humphrey would like to set the record straight: the long-standing business is not closing and they intend to stay put for generations to come.
Mr Humphrey, who is a director in the business alongside brother Roger, and Richard Harvey (pictured), said the business had already felt the sting from widely circulated rumours that they had closed or were closing.
“We have already heard from people who said they didn’t come down to buy a present because they thought we would be closed,” he said.
“We have had, like every small business, our challenges during COVID periods but we really feel like with a few good adjustments we are coming out of it stronger. We have got a succession plan here and that’s lasted for decades. So, we are not going anywhere.”
He said it was lovely how many people came in to show their concern for the store’s rumoured departure, but that it had also caused some of the older customers to become “quite distressed”, so too the staff who thought their jobs were on the line.
“Humphreys is here to stay.”
Humphreys has been in Manly since 1966, founded by John Humphrey and his wife Jeanette together with Jeanette’s parents’ Jean and Tom Rickard. For the first few years the store was called Humphreys & Rickard.
Sons Roger, Mark ,and Chris – who passed away from cancer last year – took the helm alongside Richard Harvey, who has been with the store for over 30 years.
The store sells a mix of educational books, stationery, newsagency items, and gifts, and is a popular stop for young children because of its ‘sky train’ that zooms around the store ceiling. (We do miss the little table with train tracks for kids to play on, though…)
The business employs about 40 locals.