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More than 7,000 queue for Bodgers closing down sale in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 16:28 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:11 14 November 2017

The crowds outside Bodgers, Ilford. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

The crowds outside Bodgers, Ilford. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

Archant

Thousands of shoppers were queuing round the block for the Bodgers closing down sale today (November 14).

Hundreds queued for the Bodgers closing down sale on Tuesday, November 14. Picture: Dharam Sahdev Hundreds queued for the Bodgers closing down sale on Tuesday, November 14. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

In a somewhat bittersweet scene, which could have been taken during the shop’s heyday, staff were on hand to oversee the 7,000-plus strong crowd.

The beloved store, in Station Road, Ilford, is getting rid of stock to the value of £5million after it announced it will be closing in February 2018.

The decision will bring the curtain down on 125 years of trading at one of London’s oldest department stores.

Rosalind Perrett, 53, saw the crowds on her lunch break.

The queue outside Bodgers on Tuesday, November 14. Picture: Dharam Sahdev The queue outside Bodgers on Tuesday, November 14. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

She said: “I couldn’t believe it, there were lots of people there.

“There was even a couple of community police to keep everything in order.

“I’m sad to see Bodgers go, it feels like the last part of old Ilford – you don’t get shops like that anymore.”

The shop’s owner, The Morleys Stores Group, said it reached the “painful decision” to close the shop after an extensive 30 day consultation with 70 staff members.

It hopes to redeploy a number of staff to other shops owned by the company.

Morley Stores Group managing director, David Hordle, was at Bodgers for the start of the closing down sale and said the turnout shows how much the store means to residents.

“It’s been a very strong start today, and this is only day one of the sale which will go on until February 28 next year so there are still plenty of bargains to be had,” he said.

“We were aware there was a huge amount of affection for Bodgers locally, and the turnout today confirms that.

“It was always a painful decision to close this historic store but I am sure it will live long in people’s memories and we would like to thank our customers for their valuable support over the years.

“In the meantime we will continue to work with our wonderful team here in Ilford to find the best possible option for each and every one of them, whether that is helping them to redeploy to another of our stores or in finding alternative employment.”

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3 comments

  • The very fact that there has been such a large crowd proves the Bodgers building should be preserved as a quality department store venue run by another company which ought to respect the heritage of this shop. Residents may as well join together and save this place as a locally run venture by listing it as an asset of community value with Redbridge council.

    Report this comment

    Paul Scott

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

  • I have only lived in Ilford for under 3 years but have not even once shopped at Bodgers. It's difficult for independent stores sustain the pressure from well know chain stores which often have the advantage of economies of scale and brand recognition. Anyways, I won't be missing Bodgers but completely understand that for some people this might be very emotional ��

    Report this comment

    No One

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

  • If only these folk had supported Bodgers in the past, it would not be closing. I had to go to the Bank today - and was amazed at the crowds outside Bodgers. At about 11am they were fighting to get in and staff had real problems controlling the crowds. It made me feel ashamed to be a resident of Ilford.

    Report this comment

    RonJeffries

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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