Well-known Chesterfield family business to leave town centre home after 118 years

A well-known family business has revealed it will leave its Chesterfield town centre home after 118 years to start a new chapter.

Monday, 8th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Pharmacy John Dent has served the community from its base on New Square since 1903 – but was facing closure three years ago when staff were given warning they could lose their jobs.

The pharmacy side of the business has now been secured thanks to a link-up with Chesterfield’s Avenue House Surgery and will relocate to the surgery’s home on Saltergate next month.

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John Dent Pharmacy administration manager Jayne Boyer, pharmacist Helen McConnachie and dispensary assistant Lynne Steele.

The future of the photographic department at Dent’s remains uncertain however, with bosses hoping to find new ownership.

Administration manager Jayne Boyer said: “Everyone is so relieved that the pharmacy side of the business has been saved.

"It was only three years ago that all the staff at the New Square branch had been given warning of redundancy notices.

"None of us knew what the future held but with some adjustments, including unfortunately some redundancies, we managed to keep New Square operational whilst the company board held discussions and finally reached agreement with the partners of Inspire Health to move to the Avenue House Surgery.”

Dents of Chesterfield is moving after 118 years in New Square.

Jayne admits Dent’s loyal customers have ‘mixed feelings’ about the move and staff will be sorry to lose any of them.

She said: “Customers, staff and the Dent family will be very sad to leave our position in the town centre that we have had since 1903, but with retail in the doldrums and the recent pandemic, the New Square site has proved unprofitable to maintain.”

Charles Tankard, grandson of John Dent and company secretary, said he was ‘very saddened’ the photographic department was not part of the move, and Dent’s board would support staff in their bid to find new management.

“The directors would welcome approaches to continue a photographic retail presence in Chesterfield but are not able to continue their involvement as a company under the current circumstances,” he said.

Mr Tankard said staff were now looking forward to continuing to serve people in Chesterfield.

"I believe the Dent’s name is very important, there are not many family businesses left in the modern world, especially that have been around for 118 years, it really is quite an achievement,” he added.

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