Family-run Portsmouth furniture business Marriotts to close after 94 years of trading

A FAMILY that has sold furniture to generations of people is stepping away from the world of retail after almost a century in the business.

Saturday, 12th December 2020, 7:00 am

Since 1926, the Marriott family has traded from Marriotts Furnishers in New Road, North End, becoming one of Portsmouth’s big independent institutions.

But now, 94 years later, the family is opting to move on following the death of 91-year-old owner Patrick Marriott last year.

Liz Marriott and her brothers plan to shut up shop at the end of January, and have started a closing down sale today.

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Marriotts Furnishers at 91-103 New Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (160211-7960)

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She said: ‘After all these years the family has decided to step away. All things come to an end and sadly we’re not a big corporation.

‘We’ve had the pleasure of serving generations of Portsmouth families and that has been incredible, but we can’t go on forever.

‘Following the sad death of Patrick last year we had to come to a decision about what would be best for the future.’

Support local

The shop was set up by Patrick’s parents Ted and Margaret, who married in 1926 and moved into their first home, 97 New Road.

Working right into his 90s, Patrick spent almost his entire life working in the shop, with his family by his side.

Liz recalls days as a child where she would hide in cupboards then jump out at customers – much to her father’s dismay.

Patrick Marriott in 2016, when he was still working in the shop aged 88

She said: ‘We all have so many incredible memories, we’ve all worked in the store at one time or another.

‘The staff are like an extension of our family, and the wonderful customers who have come in are more like friends to us. There truly are so many lovely people here in Portsmouth.

‘There are some who came in with their parents as a child, then came back years later to furnish homes of their own – so that has been amazing to see.’

With the coronavirus lockdown, this year has been hard for many independent retailers across Portsmouth.

Patrick Marriott, managing director of Marriotts, and also a picture of him with the firm's delivery van in the 1980s

Liz has urged people who supported Marriotts for all these years to continue shopping locally, supporting the city’s small traders.

She said: ‘The business world has changed a lot, and it’s important now more than ever so support local retailers.

‘People in Portsmouth have helped us so much, and we hope that support for independents continues.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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