A family-run jewellery chain is up for sale after going into administration more than 135 years since being founded.
Pykes the Jewellers has shops in Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool.
The North West jeweller, established by William Pyke in Market Street, Birkenhead, in 1876, went into administration on January 3.
It is believed the business has been impacted by reduced discretionary spending during the down-turn, competition from online jewellery websites and a rise in the price of precious metals.
Liverpool-based Parkin S Booth & Co has been instructed to oversee the administration of the company, with Ian Brown and John Fisher appointed as joint administrators.
They hope to sell the business as ‘a going concern’ with ‘some interest’ already expressed from potential buyers.
Pykes’ four shops will remain open while a buyer is sought, with no redundancies so far. There is currently a discount sale across all stores to help drive footfall and sales.
Pykes is not commenting, directing all enquiries to the administrator.
The distinctive Crown and Glove Hotel sign hangs outside Pykes’ two Chester stores which are based on Eastgate Street and directly above on Eastgate Row. This Victorian sign originally advertised a public house at number 18, Eastgate Row. But the introduction of stricter licensing laws meant that the building was converted into a shop in the 1920s. Pykes moved to Eastgate Row in 1978.
Five generations of the Pyke family have developed the business. Current chairman John Pyke is the great-grandson of the founder William Pyke and his daughter Eleanor is managing director. His son Steven has experience in mounting diamonds and gemstones and currently has a hands-on, customer facing role in the Chester branch.