Ditched school outfitter Dobson’s Work and Leisurewear in March announces its closure

St George visited the shop earlier this year.

St George visited the shop earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

ONE of the oldest shops in March has announced its closure - blaming a decision of two Fenland schools to ditch them as uniform suppliers, in favour of internet companies.

Andrew Dobson, left, and staff members Jan Egmore and Lynda Raines.

Andrew Dobson, left, and staff members Jan Egmore and Lynda Raines. - Credit: Archant

Dobson’s Work and Leisurewear - which has been operating in March High Street for about 60 years - will close its doors in July, making seven members of staff redundant.

Dobson's March. Andrew Dobson .

Dobson's March. Andrew Dobson . - Credit: Archant

Co-owner Andrew Dobson said: “It is with deep regret that the Dobson family has come to the difficult decision to close.

“Due to two of our major accounts moving towards internet solution companies for their uniforms, we have been left with a significant amount of unsellable, embroidered stock and a large hole in our future sales.

“This, in conjunction with the recent burglary and a general downturn in sales, has put tremendous pressure on our cash flow and sadly has forced our hand. It has very much been a heart versus head process as I’m sure anyone who knows the family will understand.”

Andrew, who owns the company with his mother Gillian and sister Claire, added: “We have had many loyal customers over the years, and we would like to thank them for all their support throughout our time on March High Street. Our last day of trading will be Saturday, 20th July.”

Andrew’s grandfather Ernie Dobson had the shop built in the 1950s, and closed it in the early 60s. The shop was empty for a short period, before Andrew’s late father David Dobson re-opened the shop in the mid 1960s. David Dobson died in 2009 from a rare form of cancer after undergoing pioneering surgery. A year later his family raised £13,000 in his memory for Macmillan Cancer Support, by holding a garden party.

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David Dobson had also built up the multi-million pound business Davern Workwear, at one time one of the largest employers in Fenland. The family sold the business after David’s death.

Although the shop will close, Katie Grange, who has worked for Dobson’s for 20 years, will continue the embroidery side of the business under the name Sewlo Embroidery, operating at 15 Hostmoor Avenue, March, after July 20, and she can be contacted on 07904692413.

Andrew added: “I’m sure that Katie will take the business forward with the same care and attention she showed whilst working at Dobson’s.

“Please pop in and see us over the coming weeks as we will be having a closing down sale. You will be able to pick up some real bargains on work and leisurewear, including school wear, whilst stocks last.

“We will also be happy to listen to any suggestions regarding the freehold or bulk clearance offers. Please contact Dobsons shop on 01354 654881 to arrange a meeting and we will be only too happy to listen to your ideas.”

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