Lockdown kills off one of Britain’s oldest department stores after 216 years


Time and changing shopping habits have finally caught up with one of Britain’s oldest department stores which is to close after 216 years.

Oldrids was founded in 1804 but bosses say the family-run business in Boston, Lincolnshire, has been “unprofitable” for several years as a result of a lack of footfall.

Lockdown proved the final nail in its coffin.

In an email to staff, chairman Martin Isaac said: “Regretfully, and very reluctantly, we have had to accept the reality… the challenges we face in ever being able to trade the store profitably have become insurmountable.

“With very heavy hearts, we propose not to reopen Oldrids.

This is an immensely sad day.” The shop started when John Oldrid and Richard Hyde purchased a small retail unit.

The Isaac family took over in 1915 and opened other shops in Grantham and Scunthorpe.

But Oldrids was hit by rising costs and the “damaging” closure of Marks & Spencer.

Boston Council leader Paul Skinner said: “This is a body blow for Boston. Our thoughts are with those who will lose their jobs.”

Regular customer Bernadette Taylor, 69, added: “It’s devastating as the store was a staple of this town.”

The company’s other sites, including a store on the outskirts of Boston, will continue. It is not yet known how many jobs are at risk.


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