Friday, 20 July 2018

Pettits to downsize for flats

WALLINGFORD department store Pettits is to be reduced in size because it is losing money.

WALLINGFORD department store Pettits is to be reduced in size because it is losing money.

The upper floors of the shop are to be converted into nine flats while the ground floor will remain in retail use.

Director Richard Rowse said he had made the decision “with regret”.

“Over the last few years and despite the huge efforts of staff, trading has become increasingly difficult,“ he said.

“The economic environment, changing retail patterns and landscape and the lack of a major retailer opposite our store have all taken their toll and Pettits has changed from a once profitable business to a loss-making one. Change is therefore inevitable and necessary.

“After careful consideration, the downsizing of Pettits and the creation of nine flats was considered to be the most appropriate outcome to enable Pettits to continue to be a valuable part of Wallingford life.”

The store will close at the end of next month for redevelopment. The new shop will be ready by the end of the year and the flats will be available by mid-2016.

Departments, such as houseware and toys, currently situated on the upper floor will be moved to Pettit’s sister store, Champions.

Mr Rowse said, “Inevitably and sadly, there will be some job losses due to the downsizing. The Pettits’ management team would like to thank our loyal customers for their support over the years and encourage them to come in store to benefit from our February ‘closing down sale’ and look forward to serving them in our new store in December.”

Pettits was established in 1856 by William Pettit and remained in his family until 1987 when it was sold to the Rowse family, known for its honey production.

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