The owner of the family business set to be taken over by JD Wetherspoon in Helston has urged people to get behind the new venture. 

Oliver & Son, a home furnishing store on Coinagehall Street, has confirmed it is to close at the end of the year after 80 years trading in the town.

In its place the low-cost pub chain is hoping to open in the 10,000 square foot premises left vacant.

Owner Chris Oliver, who is the third generation of the family to run the business, has decided that it is time to retire and enjoy more time with his wife and family.

A conditional sale has been confirmed to Wetherspoon, although the opening of a branch in the town is still subject to planning and licensing consent.

Mr Oliver, who hopes the people of Helston will support the new venture, said: “I'm sad that I wasn't able to find a buyer in the furnishing trade. We did have various people come and have a look and talk about it, but nothing was forthcoming.

“Unfortunately you have to look at the potential. We decided that if we couldn't sell it as a going concern we had to look at other ways.

“It's a big premises - the last thing I wanted was to have another huge premises in the middle of Helston which becomes an eyesore. That's not good for anyone.”

He has high hopes for the future venture and its impact on the town, adding: “If we can get it into a thriving business again then that is going to be good for the town.

“It will bring a lot more people into the town.”

Mr Oliver said the pub would employ four or five times more staff than his business, but added: “There is always a downside to such a decision and that is that our loyal staff will lose their employment.”

He urged local employers able to offer jobs to the eight members being made redundant to contact him, adding: “Many of you will know them as friends and appreciate the knowledge and advice that you have received in an enjoyable and conscientious way from them.”

One staff member has been with the business for 20 years and Mr Oliver said they have become like family.

“This is why I have been trying to find another furnishing business to take it on - and their wealth of knowledge is huge,” he said.

Mr Oliver thanked the business's clients for their business, support and friendship over the years, saying: “We would like to think that much of our trade will stay in Helston and we commend to you the other local shops which will be able to satisfy your needs for furniture, carpets and soft furnishings.”

A “Grand Goodbye Sale” will be held later in the year, as all stock items must go. There have also been “considerable reductions” promised on special orders.