Harts of Stur welcomed a special guest on Friday (July 5) when Simon Price, owner of cutlery and silverware supplier Arthur Price, paid a surprise visit to the Dorset store to congratulate managing director Philip Hart on his retirement.
Presenting Philip with a salver especially engraved for the occasion, Simon reflected on the successful business relationship and friendship that has developed between the two family-owned companies.
Harts bills itself as one of the UK’s largest in store and online retailers of cookware, kitchenware and kitchen electrics. It is a fourth generation business that was established in 1919 and now operates extensive premises built on the original site in Sturminster Newton where founder Walter Hart was the market town’s resident blacksmith.
Philip joined Harts in 1979 and took the helm in the mid-1990s when his father Eddie retired. He has been largely responsible for transforming the company into a both a country department store and a thriving ecommerce site.
After being with the business for 40 years – and with Harts now celebrating its centenary – Philip is stepping back from the day-to-day running of the company and leaving Harts in the hands of the next generation. But he will still be involved in the project management of a new development of the shop premises and will continue to offer his advice and extensive retail experience.
Philip’s official last day is Wednesday July 10.
L-R: Philip Hart and Simon Price