A north London hardware shop will close down this summer just six years short of chalking up a century of trading.
Thomas Brothers was set up in 1920 as an open street stall by Samuel Thomas but burgeoned over the years and today occupies large premises, formerly four separate shops, in Holloway Road. However, it remains a family-run operation: Samuel handed the business down to his son Bruce, and he in turn passed it to his sons, the current owners Nigel, Malcolm and Richard Thomas.
Richard told diyweek.net that the decision to shut up shop had been based on a number of factors, including retirement plans and frustration over parking restrictions, but had nothing to do with the store's performance.
"We've built it up as a family over the years and it's a very successful, thriving business," he said. "We're very well known in the trade, and it's no failure on anyone's part."
In fact, he added: "I'm running out of stock so I'm thinking maybe I should start restocking again!"
However, he said that parking restrictions at the front of the shop had done the shop no favours. "Transport for London really don't care about the high street," he stated. "It's just a motorway through to the city now.
"It's the end of an era and we nearly made 100 years, but we just decided to call it a day."
He said retirement was now on the cards for some and that the premises had been sold for redevelopment, but that no attempt had been made to sell the business on: "No, because there's only one Thomas Brothers, like there's only one Harrods."
Mr Thomas said the shop would close in June and added: “Thank you to all our loyal customers."