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Collinsons up for sale as its owners retire

Collinsons, the 65-year-old family-run department store in Consett, Durham, has been put up for sale as its owners plan to retire.

Co-owner Taylor Collinson is hoping to sell the men’s, women’s and kids’ wear store which turns over about £500,000 per year. If a buyer is not found, the business will be forced to close.

Collinsons, which began life in 1943 as a womenswear store run by Collinson’s mother, added a second menswear store after the Second World War which was run by Collinson’s father. A third kidswear store opened later and at one point the business had five shops in Consett.

Today the business trades from one 5,000sq ft shop, selling menswear, womenswear, kidswear and lingerie across three floors. It has a large menswear hire business and its sportswear division specialises in racquet sports and cricket.

Brands stocked include Gerry Weber womenswear, Magee, Van Heusen and Brook Taverner for men, plus Barker footwear.

Taylor Collinson said the business had seen off several competitors during his 54 years there. “Over the past 20 years the offer has become more casual rather than formal dress, and the hire business has grown a lot, especially with the growing popularity of school proms. “Recently the weather has been erratic and the downturn in the economic climate hasn’t helped. But the summer Sale has gone well and back-to-school has got off to a good start.”

However, he added: “The rise of the supermarkets hasn’t helped, but I’ve seen downturns a few times. We’ve had the miners’ strike, the Suez crisis, the closure of the steel works as well as 25% unemployment in the town, and we rode those out.”

He added: “We’re unique, and we’re really the only indie left in the town. There were a few others but they have closed. I wouldn’t have done it for this long if it hadn’t been a good business but I’m 75 now. It’s a good opportunity for someone else to take it on.”

The sale of Collinsons is being handled by property agent North East Commercial.

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