Thursday, May 30, 2024

Two historic NI family retailers join forces after nearly three-quarters of a century

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Menarys, owned by the McCammon family and founded in 1923, is acquiring Houstons stores in Banbridge, Enniskillen, Portadown, Lurgan and Downpatrick. The shops are to rebrand as Menarys.

The McCammons said the family behind Houstons were “family friends”, with the sale announced as John Houston prepares to retire as managing director.

The deal will bring Menarys store numbers to 23, including two in the Republic of Ireland and its first store in England, which opened in Ramsgate in 2022.

Houstons was founded in 1950 by Robert and Kennedy Houston, who were long-term friends of the late Brian McCammon of Menarys. And the families have remained friends until the present day.

Menarys managing director Stephen McCammon said: “We are delighted to see these two historic family businesses coming together under the Menarys name.

“Both brands have been synonymous with quality product at fair prices and authentic, friendly service, and these values will continue.

“Menarys will rebrand Houstons stores in Lurgan, Portadown, Downpatrick, Banbridge and Enniskillen and look forward to welcoming the Houstons branch teams into the Menarys family.

“There are great similarities in the Houstons and Menarys businesses and as John retires, it made perfect sense for the two businesses to work together to complete this deal.

“We look forward to serving Houstons many loyal customers in these five towns and hope we are able to successfully combine a little of what we believe Menarys are great at, with the existing strong Houstons product offering.”

Mr Houston said: “The two families have had strong business and family connections for many years.

“Succession and protection of jobs within the local communities has been my key driver – my children are now young adults, pursuing their own career interests outside of retailing and this amalgamation ensures a continued local independent department store presence in five prominent towns in the province and safeguards over 80 jobs.

“I believe Menarys have acquired a fabulous customer focused sales team with a loyal customer base synonymous with the Houston Brand, and we wish Stephen and his team every success in this exciting expansion of their business.”

Menarys said its business in Enniskillen will relocate to the Houstons store at High Street, Enniskillen.

The first branch to rebrand as Menarys will be Lurgan in early May and the final branch will be Banbridge in October.

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