Closure for furniture store after 156 years

Ted and Nicola Dark outside Challicoms in Hill Road.

Ted and Nicola Dark outside Challicoms in Hill Road. - Credit: Archant

THE 156-YEAR history of a Clevedon business will come to an end this summer as its owners take retirement.

Furniture company, Challicoms, has been in the town since 1858 and at its present location in Hill Road since 1872.

From Friday and throughout June, the family-run firm will hold a huge sale of its stock before it closes later in the year and the building it is based in is put up for sale.

Challicoms, as well as its premises, is owned and run by husband and wife, Ted and Nicola Dark, who live in Clevedon and will retire at the age of 61.

Ted, who has worked for Challicoms since leaving school 42 years ago, said: “The business was bought by my father in 1949 and I joined in 1972, learning the trade from my dad.

“I am in my 60s now and the market has changed so I thought, if we have the option, it is time to retire.

“We do work quite a lot of hours – we are normally first in and last out each day – so I think we will be glad of the rest.

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“We couldn’t see anyone wanting to buy the business as a going concern so decided to close it and sell the building.

“We have had a lot of interest in the building already. However, we are in no hurry to sell as we will probably be here for a while sorting things out.

“A lot of properties have started to be developed in the area, such as the Royal Pier Hotel and The Regent, so it seems like it is a good time to sell.

“We have had lots of loyal customers over the years and we have prided ourselves on providing good service and also selling products you cannot find elsewhere.

“Things have changed though and the past four or five years have been hard for retailers.”

The Challicoms sale will begin at 10am on Friday and will see all of its stock on offer for much-reduced prices. The store has been closed since Thursday to give staff the chance to mark down all of the products.