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Lukehurst celebrates its 50th anniversary today

Martin and Kathryn LukehurstKent interiors retailer Lukehurst the Furnishers is celebrating its 50th anniversary today.

The business has been passed down through three generations, from the original owner Gerald Lukehurst, to the current owners, his son Martin and grand-daughter Kathryn. 

‘I’m incredibly proud that our independent family business is still going from strength to strength 50 years after we first started trading. I’m sure the key to our success is the continued family commitment to the business, with our passion for retailing and determination to maintain our reputation by providing customers with quality products, expert knowledge and high levels of customer service,’ says Martin Lukehurst.

‘I was delighted when Kathryn joined the business and we are determined to work together to continue improving, ready of the next generation. We are developing an enhanced website to make it easier for customers to shop online, and we are planning to install a new mezzanine in our Sittingbourne store next year, which will give an additional 8,000sqft of floor space for displays, bringing the total to 20,000sqft. This was originally meant to happen earlier this year, however, due to Covid, the development has been pushed back. ‘Since re-opening we have seen an incredibly positive bounce back with good trading figures.’ 

They have maintained a successful furniture business for half a century, and now have stores in Rainham and Sittingbourne, as well as having moved into online selling from their website in recent years.

Gerald Lukehurst opened the first Lukehurst store in Rainham at the age of 53, having worked as the manager of a furniture store in Sittingbourne for 25 years. With only one colleague to begin with, running his own independent shop was a challenge, but with a combination of determination, hard work and offering high quality customer service, he soon built a reputation as a reliable local business. His first sale was a pillow for four shillings and 11 pence.

Two years later Martin joined the company aged 22, and they expanded the business, opening a second store in Chatham. After several premises moves as the business expanded, Kathryn joined in 2014.

Lukehurst now has its flagship store in Rainham High Street along with a large store on Eurolink Way, Sittingbourne, and the Chapel in Rainham which specialises in carpet, flooring, curtains, blinds, soft furnishings and wallpaper.