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Warrington furniture store Andrew Harris forced into administration
11:50am Thursday 27th September 2012 in News
A FAMILY-run furniture store which has been open in Warrington for almost a century has been forced into administration.
Andrew Harris, based on the corner of Buttermarket Street and Fennel Street, closed earlier this month.
It had operated in its current site since 1991 and had been in the town since the early part of the last century, initially under the name Joshua Harris.
But the firm, which opened outside of Warrington in 1864, was forced into administration following a legal challenge.
Andrew Harris, from Sale, is the third generation to run the firm. He said he is mortified about what has happened.
He added: “This is a bitter blow.
“We want to make sure we can help as many people as we can and we are genuine about this.
“I am over pension age and I wanted it to be different. And I am working with the administrators to do my best to make sure they are not left in the lurch.”
Both the shop in Warrington and the one in Altrincham have been forced to close and Mr Harris, who is due to turn 70, gave an impassioned plea about the state of the British high street.
He added: “If you look at Altrincham, 29 per cent of the shops in the town centre are now empty.
“And in Warrington, the car parking situation is appalling – it really puts people off.
“We have got to get people back into the high streets. They have been decimated. And get specialist shops – cheeses, cup cakes, new ideas. There has to be local, specialist shops.
“Councils get wooed by big supermarkets promising 300 jobs. But they don’t get told most are part time and they will see othershops closed.
“Widnes Council has shown it can be done, it is not fantasy land. Councils need to reduce the rates for local businesses and landlords need to reduce the rents because it is better to have someone paying less than nobody paying anything.”
Creditors or customers should contact Naseer Patel at the administrators PHK (UK LLP) at 3, Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HF or 0161 832 5481.
Mr Harris says if they cannot help, leave details and attempts will be made for replacements to be supplied from other, similar family businesses.