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Godfrey DIY to close remaining stores

Retailer Barry Godfrey has pulled the plug on his remaining two DIY stores in Diss and Stowmarket to focus on a new online business.

It has been a tough year for the business which went into liquidation earlier this year with the closure of its Norwich branch and the loss of about 20 jobs.

But with Mr Godfrey’s company, Harvey House Retail, buying part of the business out of liquidation in February, the Diss and Stowmarket stores remained trading with a reduced head count of 15 staff.

But following disappointing sales and a tough spring, those stores are now set to close.

Mr Godfrey said: “We have been unable to achieve the turnover we needed in the four months that we have traded and as anyone in this retail sector knows, it’s the springtime, with its numerous bank holidays, that makes the DIY/garden business worthwhile. I did not want to trade beyond the spring into a period where turnover is likely to be weaker.

“It was very difficult to win back customers after closure of Godfrey DIY, and of course many of them changed their shopping habits in the light of the original closure.”

But he thanked staff for their support and said he would now focus on a new online business.

“I’m very fortunate to have been able to put together a very loyal and dedicated crew at each of the stores and I am especially sorry for them in not being able to continue the business in the long term,” he added. “I’m very grateful to them, as well as our loyal customers and suppliers who supported us during this time.

“I’m now going to focus exclusively on my retail software business Epos Freedom, which will keep me involved in the retail sector and provide me with a new challenge.

Godfrey, which generated sales of £5m last year, had hoped to trade on focusing on its two profitable stores.

But falling sales and dwindling cashflow took its toll on the business, which was one the region’s best-known independent retailers.

Source : Shaun Lowthorpe –,uk

08 June 2013
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