Fields bosses set sights on eventual retirement

11:32 11 March 2014

Fields of Sidmouth. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 2448-10-14TI

Fields of Sidmouth. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 2448-10-14TI

Archant

BOSSES at Fields of Sidmouth have told staff of their eventual plans to sell the 200-year-old outlet as a going concern – but insist it will be ‘business as usual’.

The independent department store’s four executive directors have set their sights on retirement and have acted early and openly to let valued workers know about the firm’s potential future.

They told the Herald this week that Fields of Sidmouth Ltd is ‘beginning the process’ of marketing the business.

The directors will be seeking a purchaser who is ‘sympathetic to the trading ethos of the company, sharing Fields’ customer-centred approach and will value its skilled and loyal workforce’, but no timescale has been set.

The Spores and Roberts families have been owners and directors of Fields for 36 years.

“We have developed a strong and substantial business, but with no younger family members in a position to follow - and the need to make our own future retirement plans - we felt the time was now right to inform our loyal workforce,” said joint managing director Tim Spores.

“It will take time to find the right purchaser and no definitive timetable can be given. In the meantime, Fields will continue ‘business as usual’ while working alongside staff to ensure the company’s smooth transition.

“The company has weathered the recent financial crisis well. Its balance sheet is sound, with no outstanding debts, and will be attractive to a future purchaser.”

Staff were informed on Tuesday morning.

Joint managing director Trevor Roberts added: “Fields isn’t up for sale.

“The directors are not getting any younger, and we are starting the process by which we will retire from the business – which seems quite a long time off. We all can’t go on forever.

“At the moment all we have done is advise our staff what the eventual plans for the business will be.

“We are custodians of a strong business that has been here for a couple of hundred years and we want to move forward successfully.”

There has been retail activity on the Market Place site occupied by Fields for 200 years. The premises were acquired by John Field in the 1870s and 1880s and gradually amalgamated into a full drapery store.

The store’s frontage today is very much as it was in 1800.

0 comments

Other News Stories

12:30
The Sidmouth Hopper Bus was launched this week for it's 2015 season. Ref shs 7564-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A free bus service that showcases the Sid Valley, reduces pressure on parking and brings thousands of shoppers to the town is back in action, writes Stephen Sumner.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Patients are paying the price for the ‘99 per cent’ of drivers who use and abuse a free town centre car park, but health bosses and library staff have promised a crackdown.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
The 1st Sid Vale Scouts are putting their old HQ up for auction

Sidmouth’s scouts could be sent well on their way to their £180,000 fundraising target for a new HQ when their old hut goes under the hammer next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:39
Sidmouth Victoria Hospital. Ref shs 7754-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Health bosses have been accused of paying ‘lip service’ to recommendations from independent representatives against proposals that would see Sidmouth’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) close.

Read more

A businessman whose dream of a seafront coffee van was dashed has caused another stir peddling hot drinks from a tricycle – using legislation that dates back to the Victorian age.

Read more
Lucy Lowe with her children Lydia, Tilly and Barnaby outside Ottery St Mary Hospital. Ref sho 8179-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A paralysed mum-of-four says she is devastated at being refused a disability grant that was her ‘last hope’ of returning home to her family.

Read more
Mon, 10:39
Ottery St Mary Hospital entrance. Ref sho 7454-44-14TI Picture: Terry Ife

Health bosses have come under fire from representatives who accused them of paying ‘lip service’ to a report’s recommendations against cuts to Ottery’s hospital services.

Read more
Mon, 09:25
Devon Freewheelers has extended its service to help South Western Ambulance Service and also Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Devon Freewheelers is celebrating rolling out its lifeline service to include delivering blood to on-scene emergency doctors.

Read more
Sunday, May 31, 2015
shs salcombe memorial 2

Servicemen past and present, of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, remembered fallen heroes who held off enemy soldiers during World War One.

Read more
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Donna Lane from Sidford won two prizes at the Devon County Show

A ‘magical’ floral display created by a Sidford resident won two prizes at this year’s Devon County Show.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder