Blackpool's Hartes Homestore set to close its doors as it moves online
A South Shore business is closing its shop after 25 years in order to focus on its booming online sales.
Hartes Homestore on Waterloo Road will close its doors for the final time on Monday as it looks to transition to an online business only.
Linda Jones (inset) has run the shop since 1994 with her husband Leo Jones. The business was originally started by Leo’s family in Cheshire nearly 50 years ago before moving to the resort.
Linda, 57, said: “It’s sad that the shop will close but it’s not a sob story. It’s just the online business is getting too big to continue trading as a shop.
“We are not going out of business but looking to expand. We are getting piles of orders and we only have four staff so we needed to decide our options.”
Hartes Homestore starting trading online four years ago and have a shop on Amazon Marketplace. Linda says the business now has worldwide customers.
She added: “For example train sets have been selling well to people in Mexico. Sometimes there can be a language barrier but the reaction has been incredible.”
The store is well known for its Christmas displays and this year was no different. The store has had a sale on since Boxing day and is selling most of its stock at half price as a thank you to their customers over the years.
Linda added: “A lot of people will miss the Christmas displays but I tend to notice people come in for ideas and then order online. It makes sense for some people to have it delivered to their house rather than doing it themselves.”
Before Hartes Homestore moved into the 12,000sq ft shop it was formerly a Woolworths.
Despite the store closing Linda says the future is bright for the business and is looking to move into new warehouse premises in either Blackpool or Kirkham.
She said: “I ideally want to plan for the future and move onsite somewhere in order to expand the business and hopefully employ more people.
Linda hasn’t ruled out opening a shop in the future and think something could be do each Christmas.
She added: “We are well known for being a Christmas shop so perhaps we could have a pop up store during the festive period.”