What would Ludlow be without the Castle, the Buttercross and Bodenhams? One of the most photographed buildings in Ludlow, the building that has housed Bodenhams since 1860 dates to the fifteenth century. Bodenhams the store, with its mix of old world and modern, is one of the most distinctive independent stores in Ludlow.

Now the business is up for sale. High interest rates are a major factor with repayments to the bank leaving no margin for investment.

Roger and Monika have put so much into this store. They have put so much into the town. What’s next for them? They haven’t said. I am sure they will do well in whatever venture they take up. Meanwhile, our town will wait with some anxiety on the outcome of the sale.

Statement from Monika and Roger Curry

In 2018, we took over Bodenhams, along with its extraordinary 600-year-old Grade II listed building, following the passing of Roger’s mother, Muriel Curry.

This decision stemmed from our deep connection to the business, with Roger’s 20-year dedication alongside his mother and my own 15 years of involvement, say Monika Curry. It felt like a natural progression for us, and it was the only way to keep Bodenhams going, as other family members were not inclined to continue its legacy. To secure the acquisition, we relied on a significant bank loan. At the time, with historically low interest rates, the repayments were manageable compared to potential third-party ownership (and the extortionate commercial rent rates). However, as we find ourselves in 2024, the economic landscape has undergone significant changes.

While our fondness for the building remains unchanged, we understand our responsibility as custodians to ensure its preservation for future generations. The increased interest burden on our current loan leaves us with little room to allocate funds for necessary maintenance and future investments. We are unwilling to witness the gradual deterioration of this historical landmark due to financial constraints, a fate that has befallen other local historical buildings. In light of this, we have made the difficult decision to list the building for sale. The impact on our business remains uncertain and will depend on the intentions of the potential purchaser.

In the meantime, Bodenhams continues to operate as usual; it is very much a profitable business (although we do feel the pressure of the escalating costs in the current climate, like most businesses). We are already making appointments for stock orders for Spring/Summer 2025, underlining our commitment to providing our customers with the quality collections they have come to expect each season. It’s a running train, which doesn’t just stop with a press of a button. We have ongoing commitments to our suppliers and long-serving staff. When and if anything changes, we will make an appropriate announcement in due course.

Monika & Roger

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