Dickinsons to close Alnwick store

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

Dickinsons is to close its furnishings store in Alnwick.

The retailer announced yesterday that its shop in Fenkle Street, as well as high-street stores in Hexham and Carlisle, will close, putting a total of 30 jobs at risk.

Dickinsons said the three stores were suffering from a drop-off in footfall. It will now concentrate on the growth of its commercial and contracting business and the successful launch of its online store.

John Spreadbury, managing director of Dickinsons Furnishers Group, said it was ‘with a heavy heart’ that staff were being consulted on the closure of the stores.

He said: “Sadly, the group is no longer able to sustain the running costs and drop-off in sales in this area of our business.”

He added: “Over the past two years, we have diversified into multiple markets, at the same time reducing our exposure to the uncertain high-street retail risk, and have significantly and successfully developed further existing business relationships and built new ones, winning some high profile agreements within our contracts division and enhancing our commercial division enormously.

“We have also a need to protect our business from the drop-off in footfall at our predominantly market town stores and it is with a heavy heart that we are consulting our staff on the closure of these stores.

“However, going forward, the group is also planning further investment, following our acquisition of New England Interiors, focussing on interior design within the B2B sector, property re-development, new builds and commercial contracting and will be making a further announcement very shortly in this area of Dickinsons’ long-term growth strategy.”

The Dickinsons Furnishers Group directly employ 81 people, with a further 60 sub-contractors, and is looking to re-deploy people across the group.

But it warned that, following a period of staff consultation, around 30 jobs will be at risk.

The family-run firm was founded in 1878. Its headquarters are in Prudhoe, where directors, finance, distribution, warehousing, online, contract flooring and commercial design are all located.