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


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.


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:25
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

A long-running fundraising group, which has donated more than £114,000 to charity, is to fold as it cannot find a new committee.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:25
Daffodil bulb planting at Peak Hill in 2013. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6320-44-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Planting this month is set to take Sidmouth past the half-way mark in turning it into the ‘Valley of a Million Bulbs’.

Read more
Wed, 16:25
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Campaigners who have decided not to pursue a bid to secure legal protection for Knowle’s parkland claim the bid has cast doubt on future use of Localism legislation in East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:25
The Radway cinema in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7345-13-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

James Bond fans need to act fast as tickets for a VIP screening of the super-spy’s latest silver screen outing have almost sold out.

Read more
Wed, 06:25
Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom

Residents in the West ward will go to the polls tomorrow (October 8) to fill a vacancy on Sidmouth Town Council.

Read more
Tue, 14:38
AA Awards

Recognition from industry’s ‘Oscars’ helps put county on the map

Read more
Tue, 12:25
Bill Beaumont presents a Legacy Gold Standard award to Lester Wilmington, chairman of Sidmouth Rugby Club. Ref shs 0765-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Work at grass-roots level has scored Sidmouth Rugby Club a national gold award and recognition from one of the sport’s legends.

Read more
Tue, 12:25
Robin Waller, who has died aged 73, pictured receiving his honorary membership of Exmouth Carnival, with granddaughter Cassara.

‘Carnivalites’ from across the East Devon circuit have remembered a former Sidmouth Carnival organiser with a heart of gold, who has died at the age of 73.

Read more
Tue, 10:25
Wendy Taylor at Sidmouth Market

Business owners at Sidmouth’s well-used market building have questioned the ‘bizarre’ comments of a town councillor – who is calling for its demolition.

Read more
Tue, 10:09
Exeter's Fanzone, in Northenhay Gardens

Sports fans can still enjoy watching the rest of the Rugby World Cup at Exeter’s Fanzone, despite England’s early exit from the tournament.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Sidmouth

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications