Shock and sadness as one of York’s flagship shops, Mulberry Hall, set to close

It's hard to imagine Stonegate without Mulberry Hall… Photographs: Richard McDougall
14 Jan 2016 @ 3.40 pm
| Business, Shopping

“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to you that Mulberry Hall is likely to close in the near future.”

With those words, Adam Sinclair announced the likely end of one of York’s flagship shops on Thursday (January 14).

Mulberry Hall has sold china and glassware on Stonegate for 60 years.

Mr Sinclair, the managing director of the business, issued this statement.

We are sad to report that we have been consulting with our staff with regard to a potential closure.

This position has been reached following lengthy consideration.

As a priority I wish to thank, and pay tribute to, our wonderful staff and customers who have supported this family business over nearly sixty years – I hope it has been a lovely place to work and a great joy for everybody.

Showrooms are spread over three floors of 14th century building
Showrooms are spread over three floors of 14th century building
He said the store had launched an immediate closing down sale, with “all existing stocks at huge bargain prices”.

In a message to customers on the Mulberry Hall website Mr Sinclair wrote” “These stocks are limited and it is anticipated they will clear quickly so please come early to avoid disappointment.”

He sought to assure them that the news “will not affect our wedding lists for February and March”, adding

I am very sorry to bring you this news and hope to meet all of you here in the coming weeks during our closing down sale.

Jewel in the crown

 Bargains on offer in the closing down sale
Bargains on offer in the closing down sale

Mulberry Hall is one of the jewels in the crown of York’s independent retailing sector, and one of the country’s leading china, glass and porcelain shops.

It is based in a beautiful timber-framed building on Stonegate, dating from 1434. Built as a house it has been a shop since the 18th century.

Mulberry Hall has 17 showrooms over three floors. Among its lines are English bone china by Wedgwood, Royal Worcester and Spode, porcelain by Royal Copenhagen, crystal by Waterford and jewellery by Georg Jensen and Jay Strongwater.

With a coffee shop on the first floor, and the more recent addition of a Dining Warehouse, stocking contemporary products from the likes of Cath Kidston and Villeroy & Boch, it was a destination store.

Prime retail space

Mulberry Hall at night. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr
Mulberry Hall at night. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr

Andrew Sharp, head of business at Make It York, said he was saddened to hear that Mulberry Hall is to close.

“The business has contributed significantly to the city’s retail offer and it will be much missed by both visitors and its loyal local clientele.”

But he said the retail sector in York remained strong, and that there would be demand for the prime space where Mulberry Hall now trades.

It occupies a prime retail space in the city centre and we’re sure this will be much in demand and quickly filled.

The Stonegate area is a very popular retail destination and one of the city’s most loved streets, offering a vibrant shopping experience right in the heart of York.

Make it York is “committed to attracting new shops into the city and are actively targeting high quality retailers to re-locate or set up business for the first time here in York,” Andrew added.

“It is a challenging time for many retailers, however, the retail sector in York remains buoyant with shopping being a key motivator for visitors to come here.”

‘Great shop and brill staff’

People have reacted with shock and sadness at the announcement.