‘Such an institution’ sob shoppers as legendary family chain at risk of closing all locations after 120 years

A CENTURY old family-run company has left shoppers in dismay after announcing it will be sold to the highest bidder due to not having any family to pass it on to.

Homeware store Lawsons first opened it’s doors in 1904, and has been serving it’s locals in Devon through four generations of the family that owns it.

The legendary store has been ran by the same family for 120 years


The legendary store has been ran by the same family for 120 yearsCredit: Google maps

The latest Lawson to have taken the reigns at the age-old store, Liz Lawson, announced the news to their loyal customers online two weeks ago, reports the BBC.

In the post, she said: “It is with very mixed emotions that today I am announcing that Lawsons will put on the market for sale as a going concern.

“In 2024 Lawsons will have been trading for 120 years and we are starting to plan for the succession of the business, there is no family succession so the Board has taken the decision to sell.

“I know this will come as a shock to many of our customers, so please know this decision has not been made lightly.

“Obviously Lawsons means a great deal not only to me and my family but also to the team that works so hard every day and our loyal customers which makes it the success we are today.

“It is our objective to sell these shops as going concerns; this way we can preserve jobs and the businesses can continue to be an essential part of our communities.”

They currently have three stores based in Tavistock, Totnes and Ivybridge, after first opening in Plymouth.

Liz Lawson’s great grandad, Tom, opened the first store in 1904 as a tool shop for Devonport Dockyard and apprentice craftsmen.

The store grew bigger since it’s inception and started to sell toys and kitchen items, but has grown even further to now selling a variety of different homewares.

Locals steamed into the comments section of the post, all sharing their heartbreak at what feels like the end of a historic part of their community.

Commenting on the post, Frances Mclean, said: “So Sorry to hear this news, such a shock.

“Best of Luck in the future Liz , hopefully you find a buyer who can keep it as the fabulous shop that it is.”

While a second commenter, Luis George, said: “Such an institution for everything in my kitchen and dining room.

“I Miss the Plymouth shop terribly, but use your online store and visit you every time I go to Totnes and Tavistock.

“Your staff are the best. Super helpful and knowledgeable. But your stock is wonderful too.”

Liz Lawson went on to say that selling the store – which has been a part of her families life for over a century – would feel like “handing over a baby”.

She added: “I’ve always been a passionate High Street retailer.

“I think high streets are a key part to our communities and without them I think we’ll be lost.”

As well as customers, ex-members of staff chimed in to say the experience they had working for the Lawson’s was as impressive as the service provided to their customers.

Former employee, Marion Prynne, said: “I’m so sad to hear that Lawsons will pass out of the family but I also understand that the decision had to be made no matter how hard it must have been for everyone concerned.

“I wish all the family well for the future and I hope Lawsons will continue as a successful business

“As an ex-member of staff I look back on my time with you as being a very happy one.”

The Lawon’s have said that without an air to the thrown, they’ve been left with no choice but to sell the business on and hope that it continues to operate the same way it has for over 100 years.

Liz, said: “Our hope is that someone will invest in this opportunity and continue to employ our staff and serve our customers for years to come.”

Stores have been dropping like flies year after year, and 2024 is showing no signs of slowing down – with multiple branches of some of the UK’s favourites announcing country-wise closures.

Boots has announced 16 closures up and down the country, while Weatherspoon’s has announced the end of 15 different boozers have been put up for sale, according to Time Out.

As well as this, Costa Coffee have announced two closures, the first being on Chiswick High Roada, London, and the second in Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh.

Customers have shared their fondest memories of the historic chain of homeware store online


Customers have shared their fondest memories of the historic chain of homeware store onlineCredit: Facebook/Lawsons Shop


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