End of an era
One of the country's oldest furniture retailers is to close in the face of 'huge costs' renewing the leases on its two stores.
Chapmans says its 30,000sqft Newcastle and 20,000sqft Carlisle stores will close in September, 165 years after the company was founded, with the loss of 49 jobs.
'The reason for closing is that with our leases expiring, we have researched and considered the huge additional costs we would incur, together with the fact that the current tough trading conditions look set to continue for some considerable time to come, it sadly is just not sound business sense for us to try to continue trading,' says John Chapman, Chapmans md.
'We have therefore embarked on the process towards an orderly closure of the business, rather than a protracted period of uncertainty, which I am confident is in the best interests of everyone involved. Every business has a beginning, a middle and an end, and now is the time for us to accept that our business has come to an end within this natural cycle.
'The closure is a very sad and a very emotional outcome, however, given all the circumstances, we feel it is in the best interests of all involved. I have been very fortunate to have been part of such a loyal and talented team over the last 28 years. My number one priority therefore is to look after the team over the coming months and to do all that we can to hopefully find alternative homes for their talents and skills. I would also like to thank the team, all those who have been a part of Chapmans' history over so many years, our customers, our suppliers and our associates, and I hope an orderly closure of the business can be a celebration of what we have all achieved together.'
Chapmans remains family owned, 165 years after it was founed by Hedley Chapman in North Shields. As well as serving customers across the whole of the North of England and Southern Scotland, the firm also regularly delivers to customers in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and overseas.