A long-standing independent business in Banbridge town centre has announced that it is to close down next month.
Bann Hardware on Commercial Road will cease trading on Saturday, February 3.
The owners of the business said they had taken the decision to shut the business due to their current lease expiring.
The announcement that the store is set to close was made on the Bann Hardware Facebook page on Wednesday morning.
The post said: “It’s with a heavy heart I have to write this status up on Facebook...We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of our customers over the last 6 years. Unfortunately due to our current lease expiring and the sale of the building Bann Hardware will cease to trade on Saturday 3rd February. Again we thank you all for your custom in the past and hopefully the support until the 3rd February. Thank you, Bann Hardware Management.”
The management confirmed that a closing down sale is now on, with up to 50 per cent off everything throughout the store.
The business, formerly Robert Martin’s Hardware, has been a fixture in the town centre for more than 75 years.
It had faced closure several years ago after receiving a crippling commercial rates bill of £120,000. However, the business was given a new lease of life in early 2012 when it was taken over by former employee Malcolm Russell and Banbridge locals Raymond Smyth and his daughter Amanda Porter.
Speaking to the Leader this week, Amanda said it was “sad” that the business was having to close.
“I think everybody in the whole town in shocked by it, but these things happen and you just have to try and be positive,” she said.
Many members of the public have taken to social media to express their disappointment at the news of the store’s imminent closure and to wish the staff well for the future.
One woman posted: “You will be sorely missed as a local business in the centre of our bustling town - such a loss”, while another added: “Sorry to hear you are closing. Banbridge will miss you. Best wishes for the future.”