End of the road for Halifax tableware shop

An historic tableware and collectibles shop in Halifax is set to close its doors for the last time this month.
Neaversons has traded in the town for 140 years, but lately the shop has been unable to attract enough younger shoppers to keep the business coming in.

Owners Charles Ratcliffe and Doll Sunderland took over the store 30 years ago, after the lease on the small china shop they were running then was bought out.

“This place was for sale and it was much bigger,” Ratcliffe told HousewaresLive.net. “It was an old-fashioned china and glass shop, and 30 years ago the majority of our trade was tableware.

“But the quality tableware market died, and we became more collectibles. We reinvented ourselves a little bit, but now the collectibles market seems to be dying off and we’ve got nothing to replace it with.

“We can’t get the quantity of sales through the door,” he said. “Our customers are dying off and not being replaced by the younger generation.”

Adding to the shop’s problems has been the lack of parking in the centre of Halifax, driving shoppers to out-of-town retail parks.

Tableware brands offered by the shop included Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Portmeirion and Emma Bridgewater, the latter being a relatively new addition.

“We’d had it for 18 months,” said Ratcliffe, ” and it bucked the trend – it was successful and we were building it up.”

The shop will officially close on June 30, but Ratcliffe said the last day’s trading is likely to be Saturday June 25 because he expects there to be little or no stock left.

“The closing-down sale has exceeded all our expectations,” he explained. “We’ve had two weeks where we’ve never been so busy – even in the good times.”

The closure will mean the loss of two full-time and three part-time jobs – including those of the owners. Ratcliffe said he was unsure at the moment what he will do in the future.

A Neaversons shop in Huddersfield, under different ownership, closed some years ago.

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