One of Huddersfield’s oldest retailers – Bower & Child – has ceased trading after 150 years.

The family-run business, established in 1870, had shop in Wakefield Road and specialised in the sale of cookers, stoves and fireplaces.

The pandemic hit the business and then problems with the supply chain caused issues. There was a short-lived boom with pent-up demand after lockdown but this year sales slumped to below pre-pandemic levels, forcing the company to go into liquidation.

The directors sought professional advice and were forced to appreciate that the business was making significant trading losses and running out of cash.

Ultimately, with a view to minimising the risk to both customers and suppliers, the decision was made to cease trading and put the company into liquidation.

Charles Brook, a partner at Huddersfield-based Poppleton & Appleby, has been appointed as liquidator.

In a statement the directors said: “It is with very heavy hearts we have had to accept that Bower & Child could not continue trading.

“The unfortunate events of the last two years have finally taken their toll and eroded all our reserves, meaning the business can no longer sustain its viability.

“Therefore, we are unable to continue trading. We have followed the guidance given to us by our advisers and tried our best to minimise the impact on our valued customers.

“We would like to thank all our customers, past and present, that have been loyal to us. It is a tragedy that such a long-standing business has had to cease trading in the shadow of these unprecedented times.”

Mr Brook said: “Bower & Child has a long, proud history in Huddersfield and districts and will be sorely missed by its many loyal customers who will have been on first-name terms with the long-serving fitters and engineers.

“Many small businesses in the UK are probably only two to three months of weak trading away from potential insolvency and, for businesses operating in specialised retail sectors as this company did, it is particularly true following the pandemic.

“Weakened demand and supply chain complications can rapidly lead to cashflow problems and potentially unsustainable trading losses.”

Creditors or customers with any queries regarding outstanding orders, deposits or payments can contact Poppleton & Appleby on 01484 437432. Walker Singleton will auction off remaining stock later.