Fakenham retailer set to move with the times

Flashback: Customers pictured at the �5 million stock clearance event in 2012.
Flashback: Customers pictured at the �5 million stock clearance event in 2012.
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A Norfolk retailer is set to undergo the biggest sale in its 123-year history with £6 million worth of stock to be offered at reduced prices.

Bargain hunters are expected to flock to the Aldiss stores in Fakenham and Norwich when 40,000 product lines will be up for grabs with discounts of up to 70 per cent off.

To prepare for the event, both stores will shut from the close of business today for all of the firm’s 170 staff to begin marking down prices.

They will then reopen for the start of the sale at 10am next Friday, September 18.

Managing director Paul Clifford said every item, from every department, including brand names, will be offered at reduced prices.

“It’s the biggest sale that we have ever done,” he said.

“I would urge people to get to the stores as soon as they can when it starts to ensure they don’t miss out.”

Next week’s clear-out is necessary to make room at its distribution centre in Norwich Road, Fakenham, for essential works.

It wants to bring the centre up-to-date to keep abreast of a huge increase in internet trade, and to carry out maintenance and structural works.

Mr Clifford said: “The one thing no retailer ever wants to do is close its doors, and I apologise to customers for the inconvenience it will cause, but doing it this way gets it done in the shortest time possible.

“There’s no point is trying to carry out the works to the distribution centre over many weeks as it will only cause more disruption.

“The centre is at the heart of the business, and handles over a million items a year. If anything goes wrong, the shop shelves will be empty.”

He said the growth in internet shopping has brought new challenges not envisaged when the centre was created, with more goods being dispatched directly to customers’ homes and its furniture delivery fleet now covering a huge geographic area.

“The whole retail business is changing out of all recognition and we have to change with it.

“We have got to make sure we constantly improve to give our customers the choice, value and service they want.”

He also explained that the work was being carried out now before its autumn/winter stock arrives and its busiest time of the year with Christmas.