EDWIN ALLEN’s is set to become the latest family-run store to close this month after exactly 120 years of business in the town.
The arts and crafts store, based on Buttermarket Street, has been passed down three generations since its formation in 1894.
Current owner Mike Allen, aged 80, along with daughter Kathryn Thomas, aged 50, will now close the doors for the final time on Saturday, May 17.
Kathryn said: “It’s horrendously upsetting we’re having to go, but we’ve had an absolute ball and we’re so pleased people have made lifelong friendships through Edwin’s.”
The journey began when founder Edwin Allen purchased 16 Buttermarket Street to sell paints and wallpapers shortly after moving to Warrington from Northwich in 1894.
The businessman, who was also a member of the International Grand Lodge of Druids, later merged the neighbouring store to include glass and glazing services.
Upon Edwin’s death on New Year’s Day 1955, the shop was passed to two of his sons, Herbert and William and then later to Mike.
The 80-year-old will now reluctantly retire, and daughter Kathryn says she will miss the day-to-day life of running a store.
“I think we’ll have to push him out of the door!” she said.
“I will miss the relationship with my Dad the most – he’s the just the loveliest man and his sense of humour is unrivalled. The camaraderie with everyone who comes in has been fantastic.”
However, Mike insists he is looking forward to spending more time at his local golf and art clubs, but not before a two-week holiday to Menorca.
Mike said: “I’m going to miss seeing the new people every day and having jobs that are so varied, but I am delighted to retire at the same time.”
Kathryn says that it is a shame for the town that family businesses are becoming a thing of the past.
She added: “I think it’s really sad, but I suppose it’s a generational thing and we move on.
“Internet shopping and the tightening of people’s budgets were probably the reasons why we have struggled in the past couple of years.
“The next generation doesn’t expect to see family businesses around anymore and more people are happy to move around and focus on the short-term.”
Corker’s Pharmacy, currently based on Bank Street, is set to relocate to the new site in July.
Owner Lisa Corker, who has owned the store for seven years, added: “All the staff are really excited about the move and we look forward to starting a new chapter on Buttermarket street.”
Raffle tickets are on now sale at Edwin Allen’s with the opportunity to close the shop’s doors for the final time on offer. Tickets cost £1 each, see in store for more details.