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Hundreds attend Cousins opening at old Alan Ward site in Shrewsbury

By Charlotte Bentley | Shrewsbury | Business | Published:

More than 500 people turned out to the reopening of a furniture store in Shrewsbury today after it was saved by new owners, Cousins.

Alan Ward in Shrewsbury has been taken over by Cousins. In Picture L>R: Edward Shotton, Louise Shotton, John Shotton, Tom Shotton and Robert Shotton

The Alan Ward furniture store in Harlescott, Shrewsbury, was taken over by Cousins after the company went into liquidation earlier this year.

A huge queue of people turned out to welcome the new owners after months of closure caused by the coronavirus lockdown.

Robert Shotton, chairman and founder of Birmingham-based Cousins, said it was incredible to finally open the store after months of planning and they were also pleased to have been able to honour customers' outstanding orders.

Queues outside Cousins in Shrewsbury, previously Alan Ward furniture shop

"The shop has been closed for four or five months so we are so pleased to get it open and so were all of our customers," Robert said.

"The queue was about 500 metres long down the car park and out onto the road. We had about 500 people come it was incredible. The store is 80,000 sq ft, one of the biggest in the region.

"We had a lot of loyal customers returning who were ready to get back to the shop. We are extremely pleased so far and all the customers are so pleased that Cousins have taken on the shop."

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People attended the reopening of Alan Ward store in Shrewsbury after it was taken over by Cousins

Robert said the shop is the premier furniture store in Shropshire so customers would be limited in choice if it were to have closed permanently.

The Alan Ward store had originally remained closed even after lockdown restrictions were eased and there was weeks of uncertainty over the future of the store.

People attended the reopening of Alan Ward store in Shrewsbury after it was taken over by Cousins

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"It has been extremely successful day," Robert said.

"We have also taken on nearly all of the original staff. Its great because they have a relationship with the customers already which is nice.

"The sales staff have said they have never seen so many customers. Everything is very much doom and gloom at moment, with people losing their jobs and businesses going under. We have done the opposite.

Alan Ward in Shrewsbury has been taken over by Cousins. In Picture L>R: Edward Shotton, Louise Shotton, John Shotton, Tom Shotton and Robert Shotton

"It makes us the biggest family run furniture company in the midlands. We have also honoured all the previous orders, where people had paid deposits and things. So we have honoured those orders even though we don't have the deposits ourselves. It is fantastic for Shropshire."

The store is open until 8pm for the rest of the week, and open until 6pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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