Rural retreat provides ideal setting for new showroom
FROM COAST TO COUNTRY: Mike and Jayne Robinson at Robinsons Interiors, The Old Granary, Church Lane, Aylesby.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 3 Jan 2018
After nearly a decade of sales on the high street, furniture specialist Robinson Interiors has headed out of town and launched a dedicated showroom.
Having been a strong feature of St Peter’s Avenue, Cleethorpes, since opening in the depths of recession nine years ago, the rural retreat of The Old Granary has been taken on in Aylesby.
The entire ground floor offers a significantly larger footprint and allows owners Mike and Jayne Robinson to return to the quality pieces they began with. For Mr Robinson it is a second major wrench on the business front, having left the long-established third- generation family firm of AW Robinson back in late 2008. It is a move born out of frustration and necessity, with an emerging changing model of online orders now being dispatched daily, requiring space and access.
“It is a massive move to come off the high street,” he said. “I remember when I came out of the family business and went into the first shop, it is just like that. I was there seven years and did phenomenal trade.”
However, rental increases made a huge difference to the business’s bottom line, and Mr Robinson moved the shop up St Peter’s Avenue towards Isaac’s Hill.
“It made quite a difference, and while we got people in, I was changing the stock to bring in the footfall, and it was more trippers and tourists,” he said, of the remarkable difference a few hundred yards made. Now we can go back to exactly what we did in the first store, with the real quality furniture again.”
The husband and wife team are leasing the entire ground floor, spanning nearly 2,000 sq ft, and having initially looked at sub-letting, they are retaining a secondary area towards the church to enhance the range further, working with Willis and Gambier to bring forward a dedicated offer.
“People have already been driving out here, it is a great setting with plenty of car parking, and the building looks terrific,”
Mr Robinson said, telling how he had considered Brigg, Beverley and Lincoln, before opting to remain in North East Lincolnshire.
“We know, being retailers, we have our local customers, and I felt that they wouldn’t want to go much further for it,” he said.
“It is actually something two years ago I wouldn’t have done, but the general high street is getting frustrating and even in furniture, so much now is online. I see Sea View Street is a great place to be, and those businesses look to be doing well, but when you look into St Peter’s Avenue it is such a shame and I don’t feel as if there’s anything to encourage you.”
He believes free car parking is a must for such places to thrive, with both car parks book-ending the main shopping area operated through pay and display.
Carl Bradley of Clark Weightman handled the deal for the owner of the Manor Farm property, with design and marketing agency Source Four, remaining on the first floor of The Old Granary.