Worried shoppers contacted YorkMix today fearing the worst after they saw this sign in a favourite York shop.
Found in the window of Blackwell & Denton on Colliergate, it says: “Gilbert Baitson auctioneers & valuers will sell by public auction the assets and stock of this company.”
And the shop itself, which sells and repairs electrical appliances including vacuum cleaners, has been cleared out.
But Chris Watson, the owner of the company, told YorkMix that it is still going strong – and is even hoping to expand.
The company is being restructured, and as part of that process he is talking to his landlords, the York Conservation Trust, about a new lease which would see them expand into more of the listed building.
And he wants permission to refurbish the inside of the store to give shoppers a better experience.
Until these details are sorted, the shop itself will be closed. But the business is still trading, and customers can contact them through the website or by phone on 01904 659066.
Blackwell & Denton was founded in 1973 by Bill Blackwell and Mike Denton, initially selling vacuum cleaners door to door, and then progressing to the shop on Colliergate.
It expanded, first by supplying spares and then with a repair service for vacuums and other appliances.
And the facilities management side of the operation, supporting many businesses, has grown too.
Chris has been involved in the business for 33 years, and took it over 15 years ago.
He admits the sign does look a little alarming, but assured YorkMix: “We’re hoping to open some new showrooms, providing they agree to us to do the alterations.
“We needed to clear all this stock out, and that stock has gone for auction.
“We’re still going to be retail, we’re still going to be doing our repair side, we’re still going to be doing our collection and delivery service.
“At the moment, while the retail store is closed, if anybody contacts us and wants items, we’re quite happy to deliver for them.”
But the plan is soon to have the shop reopened, bigger and better.
“It’s just time now to reinvent ourselves, move forward with the times and change it a little bit – and hopefully give the people of York a lot better experience when they come in.”