Ironmongers set to close its doors in March next year as a number of senior staff retire.
After more than 190 years of trading, Grays the Ironmongers in George Street, Edinburgh is to close in March 2010.
The announcement follows a decision by the company to close the store to coincide with the retirement of a number of senior staff, including Brian Smellie the current owner and managing director. Grays will continue trading as normal, with its final January sale next year acting as its closing down sale.
Commenting on the closure, Brian Smellie said: "It is an appropriate juncture to close the store as a number of our staff, including myself, are either at or nearing retirement age. We feel that this is the natural time for us to close the store."
"We have looked into ways of allowing things to continue but neither I nor my senior colleague, Jim Burns, have family interested in following in our footsteps. A number of options have been considered but we feel that this is the correct decision."
Members of staff were informed of the decision last week and Grays has stated that it is committed to giving support to its staff in finding suitable alternative employment.
The company was founded by James Gray in 1818, when Walter Scott first revealed the Honours of Scotland, and was initially located in Leith Wynd. The firm moved to George Street in 1850, initially to number 85 and then to its current location at number 89 in 1903.
Mr Smellie added: "We are extremely grateful for the support we have had from several generations of loyal customers over the years from Edinburgh and beyond. Their custom has been greatly appreciated. We hope the many hundreds of fireplaces we have installed in Edinburgh over the years will be part of our legacy. We feel sure that the city centre and George Street in particular, has a vibrant future.
"We also pay tribute to our staff whose dedication and hard work has allowed Grays to enjoy the sustained success it has had. Over the years we have been fortunate to have a good calibre of staff and high levels of continuity and loyalty, which has assisted us greatly. Grays has maintained its final salary pension scheme over the years and longer serving staff that are nearing retirement will benefit from this. We will do all we can to help remaining staff to find suitable employment in the area."
"It will be the end of an era when we close our store next year after such a long history, particularly associated with the city centre. Most hardware and ironmongery shops have long since departed from city centres but we have enjoyed selling our practical household goods amongst high class ladies fashion and jewellery shops."