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Altrincham furniture store Mr Bedds forced into administration
8:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
A FAMILY-run furniture store that has been part of Altrincham's high street for half a century has closed its doors for the final time.
Mr Bedds, on Stamford New Road, has been forced into administration following a legal challenge.
The firm, which opened in Manchester in 1864, moved to Altrincham in the early 1960s.
Owner Andrew Harris, aged 69, from Sale, who is the third generation to run the firm, said he was mortified about what has happened.
He said: “This is a bitter blow.
"We want to make sure we can help as many people as we can and we are genuine about this.
“I am working with the administrators to do my best to make sure our customers are not left in the lurch.”
Mr Harris has another shop in Warrington which was also forced to close.
Twelve members of staff have lost their jobs, two of them in Altrincham. The Alltrincham employees had been with the firm for more than 20 years.
Mr Harris said: "That is the hardest thing, they are like family."
He gave an impassioned plea about the state of the British high street: “We have got to get people back into the high streets. They have been decimated. There has to be specialist local shops.”
He traced the start of the problems faced by towns such as Altrincham to the competition faced after the opening of the Trafford Centre.
Mr Harris said business rates and rents need to be reduced.
Last month, a study by the Local Data Company (LDC) calculated that 30 per cent of Altrincham’s shops are vacant.
But that figure is disputed by Trafford Council, which claims the actual vacancy rate figure is 24 per cent - and when development sites are accounted for that falls to 16.3 per cent.
* Creditors or customers should contact Naseer Patel at the administrators PHK (UK LLP) at 3, Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HF or 0161 832 5481.
Mr Harris says if they cannot help, leave details and attempts will be made for replacements to be supplied from other, similar family businesses.