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Carlisle's Chapmans shop to shut after 165 years

A landmark furniture business in Carlisle is to close after 165 years.

Chapmans shop photo
Carlisle's Chapmans shop

Bosses at Chapmans Furniture have confirmed the store would close for the final time in September.

The firm has opted not to renew its lease on its prominent Victoria Viaduct shop in a move which will see 20 people lose their jobs.

The company will also close its Newcastle store, bringing to an end a retail business that can trace its roots back to 1847.

Having survived two world wars and countless recessions, the company has fallen victim to the prolonged economic downturn.

Bosses have stressed they will carry out an “orderly closure” of the store and will hold a closing down sale beginning at the end of May.

The closure could provide a headache for Carlisle city centre chiefs, with the possibility of a huge empty store just yards from the derelict former Central Plaza hotel.

Managing director John Chapman, the fifth generation of his family to run the business, said: “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.

“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.

“Sadly it is just not sound business sense for us to try to continue trading.

“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,” aded Mr Chapman.

“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.

“Customers can rest assured that every order placed from now and up to the end of our sale at the end of May will be serviced and delivered with the same high standards that everyone has come to expect from us over so many years.”

Have your say

What a absolute shame. Our towns and citys are becoming increasingly saturated with bog standard chain stores and charity shops. We are losing our unique local identity which is enhanced by local family run businesses offering high quality goods and great customer service. Perhaps Carlisle city centre chiefs should consider lease cost reductions to encourage local businesses to stay, in what are already financially difficult times for us all.

Posted by Claire on 7 April 2012 at 06:42

I will be very sorry to see Chapman close. Their furniture is high quality and, yes, made by good British craftsmen. I agree that we are inundated with shoddy foreign imports - everything from clothing to bedding seems to come from thousands of miles away. My Chapmans dining table, chairs and corner cupboard will go on for ever.

Posted by Patricia Howe on 18 March 2012 at 13:21

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