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140th Birthday Party at Knees

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Knees Home and Electrical is turning 140 years old this year – which calls for a celebration! 

The store reports. “Join us in our Trowbridge and Malmesbury stores during opening hours from 13th – 15th September for a big birthday party. We will have special offers, give-aways, prize draws, free cooking demonstrations and birthday cake, so a visit to Knees is a must!

“Knees is also very excited to announce that they have installed a brand new range of kitchens upstairs in their Trowbridge store. Knees is now a new local destination for stunning kitchens, which includes design, installation and expert advice from the knowledgeable staff. 

“Many people in Wiltshire recognise Knees as a family business with a long history as an independent retailer. What people often don’t realise is just how far back their roots stretch. Here’s how it all began…

“Knees started life in 1879 when Henry John Knee opened his first shop in Trowbridge called Knee’s Ironmongers & Manufacturers and sold a wide selection of things for the house including paints, varnishes, mantel pieces, tile hearths, fenders, fire irons, kitchen ranges, stoves and lamps.

“Towards the end of the 1980s, Knees settled on the three sides of the business which remain today: retail; property, from land and buildings acquisitions over the years; and engineering.

“HJ Knee Ltd continue to operate a range of businesses; on the retail side the focus is on our busy Malmesbury store (a family favourite on Malmesbury High Street since the 1950s) and our modern flagship store at Spitfire Retail Park in Trowbridge. Knees moved from Trowbridge town centre to the Spitfire Retail Park in 2014 as part of a response to changes in the retail landscape. At the same time Knees moved from being a store known to ‘sell everything’ to specialising in a simplified range of premium products for the home. Our key product ranges are now kitchens, large and small kitchen appliances, home furniture and accessories. The other major shift has, of course, been to introduce online purchasing.”

On Knees reaching 140 years old, Marcus Holbrow, who is part of the Knees family and the chairman said, “Throughout the last 140 years the company has operated on many diverse platforms; car dealership, retail and engineering. The passing years and fluctuating economic climates through the decades have influenced the huge changes and evolution necessary to ensure the continuation of the company. We remain always mindful that customer service and the support of the local community is at the forefront of our continuing success story.”

Andy Pickford began life at Knees as the finance director and is now the managing director. He said, “Through five generations and 140 years we have operated in quite a mix of differing business sectors, but during that time the one constant has been retail. 

“We now find ourselves 140 years old and proud to look back at our heritage, but even more excited to look to the future. In our beautiful Spitfire showroom we aim to create a setting that inspires our customers, with our wonderful team providing the highest levels of customer service. Our showroom is also complemented and supported by our website. It sounds romantic, but we are different from the large national businesses because for us it’s personal. It’s a way of life. Our ethos is “it’s about family”:  a family business whose team goes the extra mile to help our customers. We provide them with inspirational products, creating family spaces to enjoy and make memories.”

They say, “You don’t see many family-owned shops reach 140 years old and at Knees you’ll find a beautiful shop with much-loved family values right on your doorstep. We are proud to be a destination for quality kitchens, beautiful home furniture and kitchen appliances. Don’t just take our word for it; take a look for yourself.” 

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