A FAMILY business which has been trading for more than half a century is taking its company to new places.
Seymour’s Home, in Darlington, was first opened by Seymour Borland 60 years ago.
The homeware and interior shop first began at Darlington’s indoor market before expanding into three units on East Row outside the market.
Today the independent business will open its doors after moving to a new site on Grange Road.
Seymour’s son Jeremy Borland, who took over the business after his father’s retirement, said he hopes the move will restore people’s faith in the high street.
He said: “We got to a point in the East Row premises where we realised people weren’t finding us here, but they were finding us online. “As the internet grew we had to make do with having our shop at the front and setting up a warehouse at the back. “We were faced with a difficult decision between upping and moving to a warehouse outside of the town, where we could focus purely our online market and it would be more cost-effective.
“But that meant redundancies for staff – some of which have worked here for around 30 years.
“But you don’t just do it for money. You do it to be successful and you do it to make everyone that has worked with that business feel part of that.
“So we needed something that would keep our staff employed and would keep us in Darlington.
“When House of Fraser faced closing you saw a lot of comments saying there was nowhere left to shop in Darlington, but we have so many brilliant independent shops.
“I have found a property which will do both. This is a way of bringing every aspect of the business together, creating a wow factor for Darlington and trying to reverse what people are saying about the high street.”
Seymour’s Home will open its doors today at 11am with a grand opening ceremony serving Prosecco and canapes to celebrate its next venture.
The shop will be opened by Robin Blair, who has also been a trader in the indoor market for over 50 years, and the refreshments will be provided by Emma from Vesuvio Wines, on Houndgate, who was previously at Foffano’s in the market.
The opening will also be attended by Seymour Borland himself.
Mr Borland said: “Robin has been awarded for his services to Darlington and I thought you can get any celebrity or politician to open a building, but I thought it was more meaningful that Robin and his wife came to open it for us.
“We’re trying to keep it very much a Darlington thing and put people’s faith back in the town.”
Connect Property North East are proud to have acted for the landlord in letting the former Bath Store unit to Seymour’s Home.
The retailer established in 1953 has relocated within Darlington Town Centre at a time when the National High Street is under immense pressure. Andrew Wilkinson Director at CPNE commented, “The new shop is absolutely fabulous and a strong reminder that to see and feel the quality of a product before you buy, is what great retail is really all about! We wish Jeremy Borland and his loyal team every success and we are sure that this new addition to Grange Road will further enhance the unique shopping experience in The Imperial Quarter, Grange Road, Darlington.”