Date set for furniture firm to close - after 118 years
9:42am Friday 26th April 2013
A WELL-known Bolton furniture store has announced its final day of trading after 118 years’ business.
Gregory and Porritts will close its doors on Monday, May 6, at 5pm — although a lighting franchise will remain trading in part of the Knowsley Street site.
Owners Stokers, a North West furniture chain, announced the closure after failing to agree new lease terms on the Bolton shop.
It started a closing down sale at Easter and said the shop would close once most stock was sold.
Graham Schofield, joint managing director, said: “After 118 years in business Gregory and Porritts is closing its doors forever. It is part of a family-run business comprising of a number of furniture retail outlets, including Doorway to Value in Chorley. Although it is very sad to see the doors close all staff who work at the Bolton store have been offered jobs within other sectors of the business.
“Existing customers of Gregory and Porritts need not worry. They can enjoy complete peace-of-mind as they will continue to experience the same high level of customer service through the sister store, Doorway To Value.
“We recognise it will be hard to see the Bolton store close however we are dedicated to looking after our staff and customers now and in the future.”
Stokers also runs shops in Southport, Ormskirk and Chester. Gregory and Porritts manager David Pritch-ard is moving to Southport, where a vacancy has arisen. The other three Bolton staff are being relocated.
Stokers said the Bolton store had traded “not badly” but it was the only property it rents.
It said rates are based on rental values, which are currently based on pre-recession figures. Valuations are set on a five-year cycle but the next re-evaluation date is being delayed.
Last month Jonathan Stoker, another joint managing director, said there were other good retail sites in Bolton, such as Middlebrook, but these were too expensive for independent retailers.