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Mildenhall company Bussens and Parkin to close after 109 years in the town



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A 109-year-old company in a Suffolk town is set to close after the 'devastating' impact of the pandemic.

Bussens and Parkin, which specialises in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, has been based in Mildenhall since 1912.

The business, which employs 15 people and is also a builders' merchant, has been in administration for about a week and, if a buyer isn't found, it will shut in the next few weeks.

Bussens and Parkin in Mildenhall. Picture: Mecha Morton
Bussens and Parkin in Mildenhall. Picture: Mecha Morton

Owner Ken Thompson said they have struggled after being closed for seven months during the pandemic and due to 'bad debts' caused by some customers not paying.

He said: "I'm very sad. I put a lot of effort and money in the last four or five years and I'm sad it's all gone."

Mr Thompson, 74, took on the business in 2000 from Peter Spencer, whose father Billy also ran the company.

Ken Thompson, owner of Bussens and Parkin in Mildenhall, pictured in the store’s new bedroom showroom in April. Picture: Mecha Morton
Ken Thompson, owner of Bussens and Parkin in Mildenhall, pictured in the store’s new bedroom showroom in April. Picture: Mecha Morton

He sold the company in 2015 but took it back on a year later.

Originally a hardware store, it was initially based in the High Street but the store burnt down during a fire and moved to King Street in 1968.

Before taking on Bussens, Mr Thompson launched computer company Computer Scene in 1988, which is now run by his daughter Mandie and her husband Kevin in Tuddenham.

He said despite a refit with a new bedroom showroom, the pandemic had a 'devastating effect', coupled with the impact of Brexit as they struggled to secure stock.

Bussens and Parkin in about 1970
Bussens and Parkin in about 1970

Mr Thompson said: "It wasn't worth carrying on - it finished us."

He plans to retire and praised all his staff.

"I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart," he said. "The whole staff are just one big family. I'm just as gutted for them."

Bussens and Parkin in about 1930
Bussens and Parkin in about 1930

The business is holding a closing down sale.