120-year-old Streatham furniture shop to close due to COVID

A 120-year-old Streatham furniture shop will close its doors in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

E & A Wates announced on 7 January that it would be closing the doors to its Mitcham Lane showroom and placing the company up for sale after COVID-19 compounded problems for the retail sector nationwide.

MD Roger Wates wrote: “It is with great sadness that we announce that from early March 2021 our business will close.

“For many traditional retailers the last few years have been tough, but with the additional onset of COVID-19 we have taken the decision to close the business and have sold the property.”

The furniture shop has undertaken restoration work for institutions such as the National Trust and the Houses of Parliament alongside hotels, embassies, and businesses.

Edward Wates established the business in 1900 while Queen Victoria was still on the throne, joined in 1902 by his brother Arthur.

After COVID-19 hit the struggling high street, the continuation of trading became unviable.

The shop has rebranded its Winter Sale to become a Closing Down sale which will last until the business closes down in just over a month.

Wates assured customers that existing orders will still be fulfilled.

E & A Wates recently did its bit to help protect NHS workers during the pandemic by using its upholstery experience to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff.

The Streatham furniture shop crowdsourced funding for materials and then donated safety visors to the NHS in April 2020 to help with a national shortage.

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