An historic Liverpool retailer whose customers include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is to close its flagship Royal Albert Dock store later this month.
The Leather Satchel Company has confirmed it will shut its store at the iconic dock after five years – but said it has its sights set on a new city centre location “in the heart of Liverpool’s retail district”.
The firm, which was established in 1966, said it hopes to confirm its new location over the coming weeks.
The current shop and workshop at the dock will close on September 30, for the last time.
Speaking about the next chapter in the company’s 55 year history, Keith Hanshaw, owner, said: “We are very proud of the time we have spent at the Dock and like to think that we played a part in its recent growth as a popular leisure destination.
“After five years, we’ve agreed on a move to a new location, this time in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Of course the pandemic has hit high streets hard worldwide, but if any city can survive, it’s Liverpool, and we want to be part of its comeback.
“Today the high street is all about customer experience as it competes with online. Shoppers are looking for more reasons to leave their computer screens and venture into the city centre. Leather Satchel Company has always been about giving customers that personal experience – and we feel we can bring something truly unique and special to the city centre.”
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The firm started out as a chance order of 200 school satchels, when the founder and Keith’s uncle, Steve Hanshaw, quickly turned a market stall hobby into a thriving business and a Liverpool institution, with fans including royalty, rock legends Freddie Mercury and Oasis, and TV star Fearne Cotton among others.
In 2018, Prince William visited the company as part of an official trip to the city, and took away with him three Mini Windsor leather satchels, each embossed with a name of one of his children.
The company, whose headquarters are in Knowsley, also has an outlet at Disney World’s Epcot theme park in Florida as part of the United Kingdom Pavilion, alongside other well-known British brands.
Following its final day, the company will add any existing stock from the dock store into an online auction on its website, with discounts of up to 80%.
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