24 July 2024, 16:26
By Furniture News Jun 28, 2024

Sussex Beds closes Dover store

Fast-growing South East independent bed retail chain Sussex Beds has decided to close its store in Dover, Kent – its 13th location – due to a combination of adverse factors.

The store, which opened on February 26th 2022, was situated on St James Retail & Leisure Park, alongside brands such as M&S and Next. It was closed on Saturday June 22nd.

"We opened with anticipation and excitement, as our research had indicated great potential, with high levels of our key demographic within the catchment located on and around the outskirts of Dover, surrounding villages and towns," writes CEO Steve Pickering in his blog.

"The store initially traded well. However, within weeks, Easter trading was severely disrupted as the town’s roads ground to a halt with traffic congestion heading for the port. Freight vehicles stacked up along the M20. News of the chaos went national.

"Unfortunately, these scenes repeated over the following bank holidays, half-term, and during the summer. The result saw footfall and sales plummet. Autumn recovered slowly, but nowhere near enough to offset the loss of trade during the key summer period.

"Over the next 12 months, this pattern repeated, and during the latter period of 2023 into 2024, increased disruption saw store visitors fall by a further -24%. Therefore, with no outlook of improvement to the situation and an expectation of even further disruption from October with further port checks commencing, we made the difficult decision to close and exit the store. Its final trading day took place on June 22nd.

"It’s sad and frustrating, and we could get into the blame game – Brexit, poor planning, incompetence – however, this does not help or change the situation. You just need to assess what you can control, make a decision, act, learn, and move onward."


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F*** the system!

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