Historic family-run Abergavenny department store, Richards, will close for good

Family-run Abergavenny department store to close for good

END OF AN ERA: Historic family-run Abergavenny department store, Richards is to close

HISTORIC: The late Owen Richards, whose father started the firm in 1909, outside the store during its 70th birthday sale in 1979. PICTURE: Abergavenny Museum.

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

ONE of Monmouthshire’s oldest department stores is to close its doors after more than a century.

The owner of family-run Richards, in Abergavenny, is retiring and his daughters don’t want to take up the reins.

John Harrison, of Beaufort, who took over the popular store in Frogmore Street in 1996, said: “Richards has been a part of the town for over a century.

“Our last day will be a very sad one and a huge wrench for me.”

Mr Harrison bought the store from the family of the late Owen Richards, whose father started the firm in 1909.

The family are well-known in the Valleys as Mr Harrison’s grandfather set up a hardware store in Market Street, Ebbw Vale, in 1910, which was run by John’s father, Edward, and later by John.

He sold the store to two members of staff in 2006. He also owned a hardware store in Commercial Street, Tredegar, for many years.

Mr Harrison, his wife, Alison, and daughters, Rachel, Gemma and Aimee, have helped to run the store, which over the years has sold china, gifts, toys, babywear, cookware, tools, electrical goods, gardening accessories and household items. Mr Harrison, who has always worked on the shop floor, said: “I wanted to retire but my daughters did not want to carry the business on so I decided to call it a day.

“The High Street has changed over the years, with many retailers now selling over the internet.

“It’s a difficult time and the townis suffering because of the recession.

“I will miss my customers, many of whom travel from all over the area, and my three members of staff.”

The store will close on September 15 and the building leased to Comfort Zone furniture.

Trader Fiona Bevan, of the Miserable Cow Coffee Bar, Cibi Walk, and member of Abergavenny Business Club, will be sad to see the end of such an iconic business.

“We (traders) are very supportive of family-run and independent businesses in the town. It is a very sad time for the Harrisons, their staff and customers.”

Comments (8)

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10:54pm Wed 5 Sep 12

chris227 says...

is that town trying to emulate newport
is that town trying to emulate newport chris227
  • Score: 0

10:10am Fri 7 Sep 12

bobjones2011 says...

chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country.
chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country. bobjones2011
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Fri 7 Sep 12

Amberboy says...

bobjones2011 - Are you from Newport?
bobjones2011 - Are you from Newport? Amberboy
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Fri 7 Sep 12

irisheyes says...

A very sad day for Abergavenny.I still remember my dolls pram,first bike and many more presents that my parents bought from there Abergavenny will become a ghost town like the rest of the S.Wales townsfor me and the trips I made to the hardware dept.of Richards over the years.First they take away a historic market, now a shop with over 100 yrs history can't afford to stay in town.I've even travelled back up to Richards from Cwmbran because I knew that they stocked a huge range of items under one roof.R.I.P. Abergavenny as I knew it as grew up there.Yet another ghost town in the making !!!!
A very sad day for Abergavenny.I still remember my dolls pram,first bike and many more presents that my parents bought from there Abergavenny will become a ghost town like the rest of the S.Wales townsfor me and the trips I made to the hardware dept.of Richards over the years.First they take away a historic market, now a shop with over 100 yrs history can't afford to stay in town.I've even travelled back up to Richards from Cwmbran because I knew that they stocked a huge range of items under one roof.R.I.P. Abergavenny as I knew it as grew up there.Yet another ghost town in the making !!!! irisheyes
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Fri 7 Sep 12

exMark says...

bobjones2011 wrote:
chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country.
That made my day. Lol
[quote][p][bold]bobjones2011[/bold] wrote: chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country.[/p][/quote]That made my day. Lol exMark
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Fri 7 Sep 12

Amberboy says...

exMark - Why has that made your day?
exMark - Why has that made your day? Amberboy
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Fri 7 Sep 12

regescu72 says...

exMark wrote:
bobjones2011 wrote: chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country.
That made my day. Lol
Made my day as well. Sums Newport up perfectly!!!
[quote][p][bold]exMark[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bobjones2011[/bold] wrote: chris227 - That could only happen if 95% of the locals started popping out kids every five minutes, and donned disgusting Mckenzie tracksuits, claimed benefits and started walking around with a bad day frown on and a chip on their shoulder, whilst communicating with each other in a dialect unheard of elsewhere in the country.[/p][/quote]That made my day. Lol[/p][/quote]Made my day as well. Sums Newport up perfectly!!! regescu72
  • Score: 0

12:16am Sun 9 Sep 12

chris227 says...

sadly its true not quite sure why they insist on wearing cheap shell suits a cap and owning a staffey. popping out kids is due to the benefits system that these people rely on more kids the more these type get to boost there income. claiming there disabled is another trick that these people get up to
sadly its true not quite sure why they insist on wearing cheap shell suits a cap and owning a staffey. popping out kids is due to the benefits system that these people rely on more kids the more these type get to boost there income. claiming there disabled is another trick that these people get up to chris227
  • Score: 0

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