Retailers face the prospect of sourcing a new postcard and calendar supplier after the UK’s oldest publisher of the products announced a proposal to cease trading.

In a letter sent to customers, J Salmon, which was founded in 1880, blamed the proposal on “increasingly challenging trading conditions”, as well as a lack of new family members joining the business.

The company said it intends to stop printing products from the end of 2017 ahead of a full closure of the business in 2018, pending a consultation process with the company’s staff.

John Vine, of Newsworld in Church Stretton, Shropshire, said the company is a “very big supplier” for his store.

“We sell about £1,000-worth of calendars from them a year. We also do postcards, greeting cards and diaries,” he said. “We’re not sure what we’re going to do now. I don’t know any other suppliers that do calendars.”

Mike Mitchelson, of Mitchelson Newsagents in Brampton, Cumbria, also described the company as his store’s “major supplier” of calendars and said he is unsure where else to turn to for the category.

Meanwhile, John Parkinson, of Broadway Premier in Penrhyn Bay, Gwynedd, said he was “very sad” to hear the news but attributed the decision to retailers turning to cheaper suppliers.

“There are other manufacturers on the market who sell at much cheaper prices. They don’t offer the same quality but unfortunately between a £2.50 calendar and a 60p calendar, the 60p one wins out,” he said.

In a statement, joint managing directors Charles and Harry Salmon said: “Increasingly challenging trading conditions and changes to the nature and size of the market for the company’s publications have resulted in uncertainty over the viability of its trade going forward.”