End of a Harrogate retail icon: Owner shocked by public affection and response to closing down sale
The owner of a Harrogate jewellers which is ceasing trading after 190 years says he has been overwhelmed by messages of support and customers’ reaction to its closing down sale.
Anthony Tindall who first joined the family-owned business located on Parliament Street in 1976, said he had no idea of what the shop had meant to the town until he decided it was time to retire.
“The number of people who’ve said ‘it’s sad to see you go’ has taken us by surprise,” he said. “People were queuing round the corner the first day of the sale with some people waiting two or three hours to get in the shop.
“It was spectacular and quite moving.”
Mr Tindall, aged 69, announced his intention to shut up shop last month as he seeks to enjoy retirement with his family - with all of Fattorini’s diamond and gold jewellery reduced by 50%.
Although delighted by how it is going, he said there were plenty of high quality bargains still to be had before the store, which opened in 1831, was closed forever.
“If we were closing down after years of struggling we would probably be running out by now but that’s not why we’re doing it,” he said. “We even managed to trade quite well during lockdown. We’ve got a good number of quality items left.”
Having earned a reputation for integrity, quality and service since the early days under founder Antonio Fattorini, who left Lake Como in the early 19th century to make his home in England, Mr Tindall admitted he was not entirely sure of the date the doors would finally close - though he says they will close.
“I’ve always said we would probably stay open all the way to Christmas but we’ve never done this before. It depends on the stock,” he admitted.
As for the future of the business and the building, which the Tindall family own, that is still open, too.
Mr Tindall said: “I’m hopeful. We have a very good team here. There’s been some interest, though no one has come forward yet properly.
"Whatever happens, I am retiring but we own the building so we will be looking for tenants. I’m open to different options.”
Fattorini, Harrogate: A quick history of a retail icon
A.Fattorini jewellers shop first opened in Harrogate in 1831.
It was called Oriental Lounge until Antonio’s son, also called Antonio, took over in 1859.
The shop moved to Parliament Street in 1884.
The Tindalls took over the business in 1912 after the death of Antonio’s unmarried son whose sister Maria was the wife of John Tindall.