Furniture shop closes down after more than 10 years in business

The loss of the Barnardo's charity shop in Aylsham Road continues to be felt in a city community 

The loss of the Barnardo's charity shop in Aylsham Road continues to be felt in a city community (inset) Local historian and volunteer Stuart McLaren - Credit: Google Maps/Archant

A charity shop well-loved for selling furniture has closed after more than a decade.

The Barnardo's charity shop in Aylsham Road near the junction of Waterloo Road closed down at the end of 2021 with bosses saying it was no longer financially viable. 

Despite being mainly set up as a furniture store, the Barnardo's shop also sold other items including clothes, electrical goods and bric-a-brac. 

The new store is set to open towards the end of August

The Barnardo's logo - Credit: Archant

The nearest Barnardo's is now located in Pound Lane in Thorpe St Andrew where customer numbers have been healthy since the closure.

Store manager, Paul Sheldon, said: "The Aylsham Road site was a different concept of store which was much bigger and more expensive to run from the get-go.

"We are just a standard charity shop.

"We are now back to pre-pandemic customer levels and we have recovered quite well." 

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Mr Sheldon said the charity shop gets plenty of custom from those shopping at Sainsbury's in Pound Lane.

But it was a different picture at the Mile Cross store.

Andy Burr, Barnardo’s area business manager, said: “Sadly, Barnardo’s has had to close its store near St Augustines Street as it is no longer financially viable.

"We would like to say a huge thank you to the many staff, volunteers, shoppers and others who have supported us and raised money to support our work with vulnerable children and families."

Local historian Stuart McLaren who helped to run the St Augustine's Community Group said he often used to visit the Aylsham Road shop to look for books.

He recalls the site being a Blockbusters video shop before Barnardo's moved in, but he is not ware of any activity at the site since the closure.

Mr McLaren said: "People were generally sad that it was closing as it had been a feature of the area for some years.

Stuart McLaren , secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents Association. Pic: Steve Ad

Stuart McLaren , secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents Association. Pic: Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

"We used to have a well-used branch in Anglia Square as well but that closed. 

"Charity shops are struggling these days and maybe the rage for them has passed. Everyone does it online these days and gets subscriptions rather than donating things." 

City councillor Martin Schmierer pointed out there are many alternative furniture stores in the city centre, but hopes the concept remains viable to ensure furniture is recycled.