Chas Hart to close after 40 years in market town

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Chippenham jeweller upbeat about closure as staff reach retirement.

A jeweller that has existed for almost half a century in a Wiltshire market town is set to close down, after its owners made the choice to retire and sell the premises at auction.

Chippenham retailer Chas Hart, which specialises in secondhand jewellery, has been trading for 40 years under its current owners, while the business itself dates back more than 50 years.

It was purchased in 1972 by John Knight and his family, who have continued to run it following his death in 1975. His children joined the business after finishing school, while Knight’s brother Peter has been the retailer’s in-house watchmaker for 35 years.

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Chas Hart told local paper Gazette & Herald that it is closing due to retirement and plans to sell the premises of the store on Market Place in the town centre.

John Knight’s son Tony Knight, who is now in his 50s, said his mother and other staff members were reaching retirement, and so closure seemed like a natural process. He is planning to teach English as a foreign language abroad once the business has been sold.

Tony Knight said: “All of our ladies are of a similar age so everything has come to a point where we either start completely again or decide to retire.

“It’s been a wonderful time. The beauty of the jeweller’s trade is you never know what customers will have in their hand or what questions they will ask. We have been here so long now we have served two, even three generations of people.”

Knight praised his staff members, whom he described as very loyal and says he “couldn’t have done it without”.

The shop will be auctioned by Strakers in March and, to sell off all its stock, Chas Hart will hold a closing down sale, offering 20% off everything, commencing this weekend.

 

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