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Rolfe's Closes After Almost 50 Years

A Coventry DIY store that has been running for almost 50 years has been forced to close due to lack of trade.

Rolfe & Co Ltd in Earlsdon Street has been trading for 47 years after being founded by Eric Rolfe as a joinery.

The first store was based in West Hill Road, Coundon and moved to Earlsdon’s Moor Street before a fire destroyed the shop leading it to move to its current premises in Earlsdon Street as a general DIY store.

However, trade at the store, which sells doors, timbers and paints will trade for the final time tomorrow and John Rolfe, son of the founder, admits it will be a sad day.

He said:

"I have worked for the firm since 1969, first as a joiner and then as an assistant in the shop and it is extremely sad – it is all I have ever done.

"We have no choice but to close because we are losing money and we just do not have the custom to stop that happening.

"There are several reasons for the loss of trade, including lack of car parking in Earlsdon, but the main one is the strength of the chain stores.

"Even in the 1970’s people were saying that there were too many DIY stores in Coventry and since then there has been at least another three built so you really have no chance as an independent.

"When people are going to do their supermarket shopping they just nip to one of the chain-stores on the same complex and pick up the things they need there."

The store is currently run by John and sister Annie Davis, and Rolfe admits that neither really know what they will do next.

He said:

"First of all we have to deal with all of the administration stuff. It is not as simple as just closing the doors and leaving, we have to deal with all of the unsold stock and those kind of things.

"Then after that we will both be looking for jobs, which will be strange because this is all we know."

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Rolfe & Co / 24 Sep 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM