Historic shop to close

Huge retirement sale announced at Berwick home furnishers

Martin Fairbairn and Susan Shirreff, brother and sister directors of Fairbairns of Berwick shop
Martin Fairbairn and Susan Shirreff

A PROMINENT Northumberland business that has served thousands of customers over eight decades has announced that it will be closing its store in the near future.

Fairbairns of Berwick is now gearing up for its largest-ever sale starting from 27 October in anticipation of its Church Street shop closure.

Director Martin Fairbairn, the third generation of the family to helm the business along with his sister, Susan Shirreff, said: “Announcing the closure of our beloved Church Street location comes with mixed feelings. Since my grandfather first opened 77 years ago, the family has been honoured to serve the Berwick, Northumberland, and Scottish Borders communities.”

Originally established in 1946 by founders George and Jean Fairbairn, they utilised their post-war savings to secure the premises. It was expanded significantly under the leadership of their two sons, Ken and Lance with the store evolving and more than doubling in size, now spanning approximately 18,000sq ft.

  Historic image of the shop Fairbairns of Berwick

At its largest, the business operated from a further two shops, one under the Fairbairns of Berwick name in Dunbar, East Lothian, and Furniture Plus – located in Silver Street, Berwick.

Despite challenges like multiple recessions, the pandemic, the advent of online shopping, and the decline of town centres and bricks and mortar retail, Fairbairn’s flagship Church Street shop stood strong, renowned for offering quality furnishing, gifts, beds, and flooring.

As members of the UK’s largest buying group, its range includes major brands such as Stressless, G-Plan, Parker Knoll, and Sherborne.

The upcoming retirement sale will see the business look to sell a vast majority of its stock with huge discounts off all merchandise. The sale will also offer fantastic savings on customer favourites such as sofas, beds and mattresses, dining sets and bedroom furniture. To prepare, the shop will be closed until the start of the sale.

Fairbairns will also ensure that all orders placed during the sale – and the final weeks of the shop being open – are able to be received and delivered, giving full confidence to customers.

Susan said: “We invite customers old and new to visit us one last time during the retirement sale.

“It will be a celebration of the relationships and memories we have built over decades. We look forward to seeing familiar faces and expressing our gratitude during this farewell event.

“Likewise, Martin and I want to extend our thanks to the brilliant teams that have worked here past and present. So many of our colleagues have been with us for 20, some more than 30 years – and they have shaped the values of the company and treated our customers with care.

“Fairbairns has always been a business very proud to serve – something that will continue right up to the final time we close the doors in the months ahead.”