Shaws shops across Bristol close as company enters liquidation

All three shops in Bristol closed down just before Christmas
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Shaws the Drapers, which has stores in Fishponds, Kingswood and Yate, has gone into liquidation following weeks of uncertainty over the company’s future.

Around 150 staff across the firm’s 28 shops in Wales and England are impacted by the move which was announced to staff in an email from owner Philip Shaw last week.

Mr Shaw said the business was no longer viable. The decision comes after he told workers there were going to be major changes ahead of next year.

In announcing liquidation in his latest email, he said: “Over the course of the last week, we have reached a conclusion that the business is no longer viable and we are about to place the company into voluntary liquidation. This will result in the closure of the business and sadly the end of your employment.”

Insolvency company Stones & Co has been instructed to handle the voluntary liquidation. The process will see the chain’s assets sold off to repay creditors.

Shutters are down at Shaws The Drapers in Kingswood, which closed just before ChristmasShutters are down at Shaws The Drapers in Kingswood, which closed just before Christmas
Shutters are down at Shaws The Drapers in Kingswood, which closed just before Christmas

Bristol World was the first media outlet to report problems facing the chain of shops, which sold curtains and home goods. Two weeks ago, all stock at the chain’s stores in Bristol were cut in price, leading to a surge in shoppers and an emptying of shelves.

A week later, we reported on how staff had been sent a letter from Mr Shaw warning them of major changes in the New Year. There was no mention of job losses or shop closures.

Now, it has been confirmed that the chain of shops will close. Shaws in Kingswood this morning (December 29) was closed with the shutters down. There was no sign on the closure outside the store.

Shoppers empty the shelves in the weeks leading up to closure in KingswoodShoppers empty the shelves in the weeks leading up to closure in Kingswood
Shoppers empty the shelves in the weeks leading up to closure in Kingswood

The company started with its first store in Cardiff in 1916 - its popularity led to more stores across Wales and the South West, many of which have been a strong and popular presence in High Streets for many years.

Bristol World understands that staff have been paid up till Christmas. Redundancy pay will be dealt with through the Government’s Redundancy Payments Service.

Mr Shaw continued in his email to employees: “After 100 years of trading, this hasn’t been an easy decision for us to make, and we fully appreciate the consequences for you, but the business simply is not viable and we cannot see a way of making it so.”