In 1886 John Hatfield could be found in his front room at 31 St John’s Street, Colchester dealing in curios. The front room was used to store all his stock during the week’s business. Only on Sundays was it used as a normal front room!
In 1916 the business expanded even further and 3 adjoining properties were purchased. Five years later Arthur, who had taken over the business since his father’s death, sold the St John’s Street properties and moved Hatfields to 5 Stanwell Street.
In 1943 Elsie Hatfield (Arthur Hatfield’s daughter) married John London. After returning from war, John joined the Hatfields business. In 1957, John’s younger brother, Tony London also joined the business.
The brothers purchased the business on Arthur’s retirement in 1959 and began to improve and expand the company. Their elder brother, Stanley, and nephew, David, joined the business a few years later.
In April 1963, a 125 year old confectionery business in St Botolph’s Street, Colchester, came on the market, which was purchased for the Hatfields business to move into and opened in the November.
In 1975, following great success in the town centre, the need to expand came once more. The Peartree Road Building was thus acquired and the store officially opened on 26th August 1975, continuing to be developed gradually over the coming years.
The eighties saw business booming and 1986 marked 100 years of trading for Hatfields. This auspicious anniversary was celebrated in style by the company, who achieved a million pounds in the first sale period of the year.
The business continued to grow from there with both David London’s sons, Andrew and Robert joining the business in 1991 and 1994 respectively. Followed by Tony London's son-in-law, Malcolm Durbridge, in 1999.
In 2005, the Peartree Road site was purchased and Hatfields also expanded with a second store for budget and clearance furniture.
Hatfields held their most successful sales event to date in September 2010. More than 5,000 people visited the store on the opening day of ‘The Great £2,000,000 Refurbishment Sale’ and following the success, Hatfields undertook a grand refurbishment of the showrooms.
December 2010 also saw the move of the budget store to new larger premises opposite the main store. The opportunity was also taken to re-brand Hatfields2Go, and it is now known as ‘Hatfields Budget & Clearance Outlet’.
Hatfields were proud to celebrate our 130th Anniversary in 2016 and commemorated this special milestone in our history with some special plans and events, including the opening of a brand new flooring department.
2019 was the year of change for Hatfields, with work on a major redevelopment of the store front completed between January – September. October saw the launch of the newly look building and Hatfields also took the opportunity to update their corporate look and launch a brand new logo.
With continued success in recent years it is not inconceivable that a third Hatfields store could be opened in the future. This growth will hopefully ensure the continuing success of one of the oldest and largest family run furniture stores in the country. Download the full history guide here