A much-loved independent electrical retailer in Derby is to close after more than 50 years of trading.
Reliance Electrical, in Babington Lane, will shut down in November.
In a statement on behalf of the board, director Chris Walker said: “It is with both regret and sadness that we announce the closure of Reliance Electrical after over 50 years of service to the people of Derby and the greater East Midlands.
“There are a number of reasons for this decision. All of the directors are now at or over the normal retirement age, with no younger generation to take their place. (And) increasingly customers are making their purchases at out of town stores or on the internet.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely the people of Derby for their custom and confidence over many years, and wish them all and their families the very best for the future.”
Mr Walker, who has been at the store for 45 years, said a closing down sale will now be held to clear all stocks.
Inside the store
The news will undoubtedly sadden many of the store’s customers.
Reliance Electrical previously announced plans to close in 2012. However, management had a change of heart after being “inundated” with messages of support from the public.
One of the largest independent electrical retailers in the East Midlands, the store specialises in everything electrical, from vacuum cleaners right through to the latest high-definition televisions.
The business was founded in 1966 by the late John Webster, a former washing machine service engineer. He teamed up with his brother-in-law, Colin Waterson, whose support played a key part in the growth of the company. Indeed, John and Colin’s sons went on to work in the business.
At its peak, the store had a turnover of £3 million a year and 40 staff.
In recent years it has embraced major brands such as Panasonic, Toshiba, AEG, Beko, Blomberg, Bosch, Hotpoint, Lec, Miele, Samsung, Siemens and Zanussi.
Part of the store’s appeal is it has a fleet of vans that will pick up and drop off electrical goods as well as a team of engineers to install and, if needs be, repair any faults that crop up.
In an interview a month before he died in early 2013, founder John Webster told the Derby Telegraph had always put the customer first.
“If you buy a television from a supermarket, you are on your own when it comes to installing it and if anything goes wrong then all they will do is send it back to the manufacturer, leaving you without a television for weeks on end,” Mr Webster, who was 76, said.
“If we can’t repair something there and then, we can replace it straight away.”
Reliance Electrical has always been based in Babington Lane, starting off at a small unit at the top and moving to its current 10,000sq ft store in 1987.
Source: Derby Telegraph