Shoppers flock to flash sale at Shaws shops as fears grow for future of Bristol stores
Fans of the store have also taken to social media over concerns for the future of the shops
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Customers have flocked to flash sales at the Bristol branches of Shaws not knowing the long-term future of the popular drapers store. Earlier today, fans of the long-running chain also took to social media over concerns that the Bristol shops could be closing down.
The stores in Fishponds, Kingswood and Yate, as well as other Shaws shops around the UK, are selling stock for half price and with many shelves already empty. The Fishponds store closed early due to the overwhealming number of customers today.
Bristol World has contacted the head office of Shaws for a comment on the future of the stores, but the company has yet to respond.
The family-run company based in Cardiff goes back to 1912 and started in South Wales. It is well known for its range of home accessories, including bedding, cushion covers and curtains, as well as wool and yarn.
There are 28 stores around the UK as well as the Shaws Direct online shop. A Shaws shop in Stroud, Gloucestershire, closed last year.
When Bristol World visited the Kingswood store, which has been open almost 50 years, there were large queues of bargain hunters, many of them buying large quantities of items in the half-price sale.
Members of staff we spoke to hadn’t been told about any plans to close the shop, just asked to hold the flash sale.
At the store in Kingswood, a queue of more than 20 people lined the centre of the shop with shelves almost cleared of stock. It was 50% off everything, with further reductions on some items like balls of wool, originally £1.95, but today being sold for 50p.
Kevin Newport, aged 58, came out with several towels. He has been shopping at the store for 40 years. “It is terrible,” he said. “I feel for the staff, they’ve no idea what’s going on. The stock is being cleared and they’ve heard nothing from above.”
Sandra Radfield, 67, has been shopping at the store for 46 years. She said: “At this time of year, it’s the last thing you want to see. It’s very sad.”
A short distance away in Fishponds, the company’s store was so overwhelmed with shoppers it closed an hour early at 3pm. A member of staff told Bristol World they had received no communication from head office.
Inside, little stock was left on the shop’s shelves. It reopens tomorrow at 10am. Customers of the Fishponds shop also took to social media to express their concern and sadness that branches of Shaws might be closing.
Helen Whitehead said: “It’s been such a useful outlet for so long - friendly and very economical too. We will miss it.” Nicola Davies added: “Oh no, Shaws have been around for years. I will miss this shop.”
Customer Nicola Young said she used to go to the Fishponds shop as a child with her grandmother and still visits 45 years on. “I’ll miss this shop very much, have fond memories,” she added.
Gail Brown said: “I love Shaws and the staff are so nice, a big loss to Fishponds. Bought quite a but there lately but commented they didn’t have the usual Christmas stock lately.”
Customers of the Shaws shops in Bath, Trowbridge, Cardiff and Penarth also expressed similar views about the possible loss of their local branches.
Linda Leo said she had been to the Penarth store last week and staff said they hadn’t been told of possible closures but ‘they were concerned as they hadn’t been getting any new stock and had been told to reduce everything’.
Fellow Penarth customer Lorraine Barrett said: “They said the shop will close once everything is sold. From what they said, the owners are devastated too as it seems to be transportation problems.”