Fond farewell to iconic Eastwood clothing store after 90 years in business

A well-loved Eastwood clothing store run by three generations of father and son is closing its doors after 90 years in business.

By Lucy Roberts
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 11:08 am
Sanders is shutting up shop after nine decades. Pictured (from left): staff members Helen Kirk, Stuart Gaunt, Robert Sanders and Brian Sanders.
Sanders is shutting up shop after nine decades. Pictured (from left): staff members Helen Kirk, Stuart Gaunt, Robert Sanders and Brian Sanders.

Sanders Menswear, on Nottingham Road, was first established in 1932 and has since been a staple on Eastwood’s high street offering shirts, coats, accessories and formal wear to buy or hire.

Owner Roberts Sanders, 61, has decided to pull down the shutters after a number of factors, including the pandemic, convinced him it was the “right moment” to call time.

He said: “We’ve all got to an age where we are looking to retire. I’ve got one staff member who is 77, another is 65 and I’m going on 62.

The shop has been in its current location on Nottingham Road since 1964.

“We’ve been opening and closing over the last two years and it seemed every time we got going again, a new restriction came in.

“We ended up losing two full seasons due to lockdowns. At that point the right moment presented itself to us and we said let’s call it a day."

Although the shop will be greatly missed by the Eastwood community, Robert said its closure shouldn’t be seen as a sad occasion and is looking forward to putting his feet up after 40 years of hard work.

“We obviously have a lot of people come through the door who have shopped with us for a number of years and are very sad that we’re going,” he said.

An old photo of Sanders (formerly Premier Clothiers) at its premises in 21 Nottingham Road, Eastwood, in the 1940s.

“But with the business having been going so long, I’d like people to remember it as it is now, and not on a decline slowly fading away.”

Before Robert took up the reins, the business was run by his father Brian Sanders, and before him grandfather George Cornellius Sanders, known affectionately as ‘Con’.

The shop has been in various premises in Eastwood over the years and has been in its current location on Nottingham Road since 1964.

Robert said: “I’m looking forward to having time in my retirement – to look after my dad, go out walking with my dog and do some garden jobs. It will be nice to just have a bit of a break after 40 years.”

There are currently four members of staff at the store – Robert Sanders, Stuart Gaunt, Denis Hodgkinson and Helen Kirk, who runs the hirewear department. Robert’s father Brian also still makes an appearance most days.

Robert said: “My dad, who will be 89 soon, still comes into the shop every day he can. He still likes to come in and interact with people and I know he’ll be sad to see it go.”

The much-loved store is due to close at the end of March and a closing down sale is now in progress to sell off all of the remaining stock before the building goes up for auction.

“We’ve been busier than ever since we put the closing down sign in the window – we’ve been doing a month’s turnover in a week. If only that was always the case,” Robert added.

Despite the shop closing, the hirewear side of the business is still very much thriving and its legacy will be continued by stalwart staff member Helen Kirk.

Helen will continue running the hirewear department – offering suits for all occasions from weddings to school proms – from a new premises in Coach Drive, Eastwood, which is due to open on April 6.

She said: “There are loyal customers that have been hiring suits from us for decades who will be relieved to know they still can.

“I love my job and I couldn’t imagine doing anything different – I’m really glad I can continue the legacy.”

For more information, keep up to date with the Sanders Menswear Facebook page.

Read More

Read More
'Inspirational' Eastwood teen recognised for dedication to helping others