SHOPPERS in Abingdon could soon have to look elsewhere for the finest lingerie as the Marie store is set to close after 81 years.

Owner Amanda Prior has decided to sell the Bath Street business as a going concern and if no buyer is found the shop is expected to close next month.

It will be the end of an era for the lingerie specialist, which started out next to the Regal Cinema building in Ock Street in 1936.

Mum-of-three and grandmother-of-two Mrs Prior, who lives near Abingdon, said she was leaving to spend more time with her family after running the business for almost 30 years.

She said: "We have had some interest but nothing concrete so far.

"Running the shop is a full-time commitment and so far no one has come forward to take over – we have customers worldwide on our website."

Store manager Verity Robinson, 28, who has worked at Marie for the past six years, said: "It's a shame because Marie has been in Abingdon for so long.

"The business is going well but so far no one has come in to take it over so it looks like the store will close.

"I'm getting married at the end of September and I might have a break from retail and try something new."

Following the end of a summer sale there will be a closing down sale and although no date has been set the shop is expected to shut at the end of September.

The store issued a statement which said: "After 81 years serving the Abingdon community and beyond, the team at Marie Boutique are sorry to announce they will be closing the doors for the last time in September.

"Marie was established in 1936 as a traditional corsetry and underwear shop in Abingdon and has evolved under owner Amanda Prior into a destination boutique and website Pure Marie for lingerie, fashion and accessories from around the globe.

"Over the years Marie has established a loyal customer base, through a dedicated and specialist bra fitting service."

The store is inviting customers to visit to say goodbye and stock up on their favourite items.

Last year the history of Marie and its underwear was the subject of an 80th anniversary exhibition at the town's County Hall Museum.

In 1936 Marie Viney decided to open a lingerie shop, and found the perfect location next to the Regal Cinema.

The name has remained ever since despite four owners and a change in premises to Bath Street in 1990.

Abingdon Chamber of Commerce committee member Paul Townsend said: "It's a real blow to lose such a unique independent store.

"Hopefully another independent will replace Marie if no-one takes over the business as a going concern."