Fresh start for struggling clothing store in Bideford after takeover

One of North Devon’s most beleaguered clothing stores is eagerly awaiting fresh starts as it prepares to reopen in Bideford after its former store went into administration.

Daws Clothing Company Ltd will reopen in the Affintity Devon Outlet shopping center in Bideford, following the closure of the store in Cross Street, Barnstaple.

Samuel Daw & Co was established in 1874, specializing in the rental of school wear, men’s wear and formal suits.

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In recent years, the family business has faced cash flow and debt problems, exacerbated by the pandemic.

The company has also come under fire for its handling of school uniform orders.

In 2021, he lost his uniform supply contract at Bideford College, following a deluge of complaints from parents.

In August of the same year, Samuel Daw & Co went into administration.

The business was bought out by the staff in October 2021 and the new company was established as Daws Clothing Company Ltd, dropping the Samuel.

Affinity Devon, formerly known as the Atlantic Village Shopping Centre, in Bideford

Responding to criticism surrounding the school uniform, new chief executive Chris Neill said he felt the company had been unfairly penalized by Bideford College.

“Unfortunately they based our performance on 2020,” he said.

“It is no secret that we all think this is completely unreasonable; if we had been able to operate under normal circumstances without the pandemic, we would have been able to provide very good service.

“The delays this year and last year are only due to the pandemic and then later to the global shipping problem.

“We don’t like to be dismissive of customers, but it’s really completely out of our hands.

“We will always be in the crosshairs because we are the ones the public sees.”

Mr Neill added that almost all school clothing was now made overseas and said the impact had been “horrendous”.

However, despite the challenges of the past two years, Mr Neill said staff were considering a fresh start at the Affinity Shopping Center in Bideford and were optimistic about its ability to serve the local community.

“We’re very confident; it’s a positive step for us and we’re all very excited about it,” he said.

The new store will be located in the former Jaeger unit, towards the mall’s food court.

The opening date is to be announced soon, but in the meantime, orders can be placed online.

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