A POPULAR chain of butchers is set to close after more than a century in business.
Kennedy's, which is well known for its sausages, will finish trading at Christmas.
The company, which has been run by the same family for 130 years, has nine stores across south east London.
Their premises at 61 High Street, Bromley, will close earlier than the others, on October 27.
Director Chris Kennedy, based at the company's factory in Peckham, said: "There is a large possibility the firm will close on December 22.
"We are undergoing consultation with our staff, but it is very likely we will close.
"Our staff come first, we have got people who have been working here for years."
Mr Kennedy said increasing overheads and a decline in trade was the reason for the closure.
He added: "At the end of the day someone has to say it's time to stop.
"I am not blaming anybody."
'A great shame'
Stephen Kennedy (no relation) runs a butchers in Orpington which shares the name but it is not connected to the chain.
He says it is a great shame the other Kennedy's were closing.
He said: "Supermarkets would be a big factor, the rates must be astronomical for Kennedy's.
"Over the last 20 years I have changed the way we operate.
"We have had to introduce more of the modern cuts of meat.
"Everyone wants meat cut lean with all the fat trimmed out and ready for the plate.
"25 years ago you would have bought a piece of brisket with all the fat, bone and gristle on it."
John and Patricia Costin from Bexley High Street have been customers for 15 years.
Mr Costin, 65, said: "We are very disappointed.
"They are really nice sausages, the best in the area."
His 60-year-old wife said: "You can't get Kennedy's sausages in the supermarket.
"You get a lot of rubbish in the supermarkets.
"I was shocked when I heard the bad news."
- Kennedy's Sausages, also known as just Kennedy's, have shops in 11 and 61 High Street in Bromley, West Wickham, Penge, Deptford, Wandsworth Road, Camberwell Green, South Norwood, Church Street in Croydon.