No44 Furniture & Fine Things in Cobham ceased trading at the end of 2022, after operating for 56 years.
The prominent position of the store on the roundabout on Portsmouth Road made it a local landmark, says owner Paul Robertson, who ran No44 for the last 14 years (it was formerly known as Antics, and owned by Ken Needham).
Paul decided to close the store in order to concentrate on other business interests close to his home in Suffolk, which includes working with some of the suppliers of No44 Furniture, and other retailers.
He comments: "We are extremely sad to be closing No44. It has been a highly successful furniture and home accessories store, in an excellent location in Cobham. However, my wife Jayne and I have always lived in Suffolk and have travelled to Cobham weekly, staying locally, to oversee the running of the shop. We felt that with the current economic uncertainty it was the right time to simplify our lives and concentrate on our business in Suffolk."
Paul says that residents of Cobham and the surrounding area have expressed sadness at the loss of the independent retailer: "Local residents have always supported the shop, enjoying the unique range of furniture and home accessories on offer, mostly sourced by myself in Asia and Europe, and often exclusive to the store in the UK."
A closing-down sale was held in October 2022, which attracted queues of over 200 customers. Sales equivalent to six months' normal trading were taken during the three-week sale period, adds Paul.