A BUSINESS established in Ilkley in 1916 is set to cease trading in the new year, with the loss of key contracts being the 'final nail in the coffin'.

Sports retailer Dobson and Robinson, located at 46 The Grove, Ilkley, has been up for sale for the last four years, but no buyer has come forward.

Now business owners Sharron and Duncan Bairstow have announced the forthcoming closure of their store with "a heavy heart".

They said: "After much consideration and mixed emotions we have taken the hardest decision to cease trading in the New Year. The business has been up for sale for the last four years and unfortunately we have not had anyone willing to purchase the shop as a going concern.

"There are multiple factors in leading us to this conclusion. Firstly, the Intersport license was not renewed in the UK which resulted in losing our combined buying power. So now the suppliers that we use have decided that we are not big enough for them to deal with anymore. Over the last two years we have had our account closed by Nike and Wilson and we have now been informed that we are to lose Adidas, Asics, Babolat, New Balance and Under Armour in the Spring of 2024. We cannot trade successfully without these brands. Coupled with the ever rising rent, every day running costs and the effects of the internet, this has been the final nail in our coffin. We have faced some massive challenges, the lockdown being one of them, which we managed to survive but it is getting increasingly difficult and harder to maintain a decent margin.

"Duncan has been at the shop for 24 years and we have owned the business for over 20 years. We are not getting any younger and working long hours for 50 out of the 52 weeks a year has taken its toll.

"We would like to thank all of our wonderful customers for your loyalty and support over the past 20 years. Without you, we would not have had all these years of trading and we can truly say that we think of you as friends not customers. It has been a pleasure to see you and chat like we are old friends. We will miss you all."