Hereford will lose one of its main retailers of kitchenware and tabletop when department store Chadds closes down two weeks tomorrow.
The family-owned store, which first opened in 1929, was sold to a property developer just after Christmas. Store manager John Bezant told HousewaresLive.net that Chadds had struggled to remain afloat.
“Retail and people’s shopping habits have changed over the last five years especially, because of the Internet and out-of-town shopping,” he said. “Our prices are okay because we’re a member of AIS; it’s just getting the footfall, getting people to come into Hereford.
“Personally, I’m very sad because it was my grandfather who started the business.”
Chadds employ around 100 people, all of whom are being made redundant, although Bezant said that a lot of them had already found new work. As to his own future, though, he said: “I have no idea.”
“Kitchenware has always been a core part of the business,” according to Bezant. The housewares offer includes cookware, tools and gadgets and barware along with china, glass and cutlery.
There are at least three other cookshops or outlets selling kitchenware in Hereford – The Cook’s Haven, Cookmate Kitchen Shop and Philip Morris. Maurice Jones, partner in Philip Morris, told HousewaresLive.net: “It’s very sad. It’s a great loss to the town, they’re a focal point.”
But he did not think that his shop would enjoy much additional business from the demise of Chadds.
“We might pick up 10% but funnily enough you don’t pick up as much as you think you might,” he commented.
He added that without having developed a transactional website “we would have gone the same way as Chadds”.