Equinox store to close its doors after 28 years
One of Belfast's most iconic stores is to close its doors for the last time at the end of this month as its owners "take stock and consider future opportunities".
The owners of Equinox, which has been selling designer household products, gifts, china and jewellery from its Howard Street base in the city for the last 28 years, said the move is a voluntary decision which coincides with the end of a lease for the premises.
The closure will see 12 full and part-time staff made redundant.
"The business has of course felt the effect of the economic downturn over the past five years, as have so many others," Jan and Kay Gilbert said. "However, this is a voluntary decision we are making based on looking towards the future of retailing and trends in the sector."
Known for its cutting edge products, Equinox opened its doors for the first time in 1985 and has been a favourite for the style-conscious over the years.
Even its in-store cafe was ahead of its time.
"When we opened our in-store Italian style cafe in 1985, it was the first of its kind and has been very popular ever since," the duo said. "We have been exclusive stockists of fantastic brands such as Ritzenhoff, Iittala and Georg Jensen. We are the only independent Belfast retailer to win the award for Customer Service Excellence at the Belfast Business Awards three times and on an international scale, we picked up the Rosenthal International Lifestyle Store Award in 2006.
"Equinox has built a valued base of loyal customers over the past three decades, to whom we owe the longevity of the business and we will always be hugely grateful," Kay said.
The store is hosting a clearance sale of its existing stock up until its closure on August 31.