vokinsHoveCoThe owner of one of Southern England’s largest independent furniture retailers says its 22,000sqft showroom will close some time next month.

Hove retailer Vokins will hand the keys to its Sackville Trading Estate superstore back by the end of March, with the Coal Board — the site’s landlord — planning to redevelop the area.

The redevelopment has been in the pipeline for several years, with Vokins owner David Vokins telling the Furnishing Report that the lease had expired back in 2009.

“We’ve effectively been in a holding pattern ever since, and gradually running down staff numbers to the current level of 15.”

He added: “Rather than milking the Winter sale — and then telling people later we were closing anyway — we’ve been upfront with customers. Already around 60 per cent of the stock has been sold so we’d expect to close the store sometime early February.”

He said they would then deal with all liabilities as they arise with the likelihood of the business being would up around the spring of 2016. Mr Vokins said he wasn’t planning to retire but expected to take some time out.

The Vokins furniture business can trace its roots back to the 1880s and had traded from its mid-town Sackville Road site since the mid-1980s. Reported sales in recent years have been in the order of £4m–£5m.