Grantham lighting store switches off after 30 years

Julie Lamond, manager of Rutland Lighting, Watergate, Grantham.
Julie Lamond, manager of Rutland Lighting, Watergate, Grantham.
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Yet another Grantham business is quitting the high street.

Rutland Lighting in Watergate is switching off after 30 years, citing the end of its lease and blaming competition from out-of-town retailers.

The December 2 shutdown follows the closure of the nearby RSPCA charity shop on November 11 and the impending closure of Isabella’s Timeless Fashion, both on nearby High Street.

Five store staff will lose their jobs, but the company’s factory at Market Overton, near Oakham, will continue as before.

Co-owner Paul Green took over the business in 2001 with business partner Andrew Bonnett.

He told the Journal: “The lease is ending. The shop has been running at a loss for the past few years. We have kept it on to run to the end of the lease.”

Paul cited big box retailers such as The Range and Homebase as contributory factors, along with the departure of Grantham’s old Marks & Spencer department store which closed in 2011.

“Since that went, we started to notice the footfall. You see the high street doesn’t have the people it used to have. It’s all the out-of-town stores. It’s quite sad but that’s the way it is at the moment.”

The Watergate store, between The Sleep Shop and Vapers, is Rutland Lighting’s last retail outlet.

Paul continued: “We used to have five in total, with others at Skegness, Dartford, Sittingbourne and Gillingaham, which operated as concessions within Co-ops.”

“We have the manufacturing unit, which employs 20. The biggest part is the trade business which helped support the shop over the past few years. It will continue as before. The manufacturing plant goes from strength-to-strength.”

The five store staff were offered jobs at Oakham but it was “a bit of a trrek” for them.

Paul added: “They have been great. We have all good staff. It was sad to break the news to them in September.”

Store manager Julie Lamond said of the impending closure: “It’s upsetting and shocking.”

Julie said that with the exception of Downtown, Grantham had no other independent lighting retailer.

She confirmed her and her colleagues were seeking work elsewhere and until it closes on Dember 2, the store will have a closing down sale with many goods half price.

Julie added: “Since the 50 per cent off sale was announced two weeks ago, we have been very busy.”