Ilkley sports shop to close in New Year after 107 years

Dobson & Robinson is set to close in the New Year

Dobson & Robinson in Ilkley will close in the New Year after the owners failed to find a buyer after being for sale for four years and losing key accounts with major brands.

The sports shop on The Grove is a family business which has been serving Ilkley for over 100 years, being established in 1916.

Owners Sharron and Duncan Bairstow have announced: "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the forthcoming closure of our store at the end of February 2024.

"After much consideration and mixed emotions we have taken the hardest decision to cease trading in the New Year. The business has been up for sale for the last 4 years and unfortunately we have not had anyone willing to purchase the shop as a going concern.

"There are multiple factors in leading us to this conclusion. Firstly, the Intersport license was not renewed in the UK which resulted in losing our combined buying power. So now the suppliers that we use have decided that we are not big enough for them to deal with anymore. Over the last two years we have had our account closed by Nike & Wilson and we have now been informed that we are to lose Adidas, Asics, Babolat, New Balance and Under Armour in the Spring 0f 2024. We cannot trade successfully without these brands. Coupled with the ever rising rent, every day running costs and the effects of the internet, this has been the final nail in our coffin. We have faced some massive challenges, the lockdown being one of them, which we managed to survive but it is getting increasingly difficult and harder to maintain a decent margin.

"Duncan has been at the shop for 24 years and we have owned the business for over 20 years. We are not getting any younger and working long hours for 50 out of the 52 weeks a year has taken its toll.

"We would like to thank all of our wonderful customers for your loyalty and support over the past 20 years. Without you, we would not have had all these years of trading and we can truly say that we think of you as friends not customers. It has been a pleasure to see you and chat like we are old friends. We will miss you all."

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