W. E Howden is the oldest pet supply business in the UK having first been established in 1830. It is even believed to be the oldest of its kind anywhere in the world as it was on these premises where sheep dip was first invented by George Wilson. The business is trading from very distinctive premises in Coldstream High Street. The b-listed frontage is easily identified by the Roman style columns each crafted from pink polished granite.
Our client has owned and operated the business for the last 45 years but has now decided to take retirement, although he is willing to assist in handing over the business. He is only the fourth owner of W. E. Howden since 1830 and is now actively seeking a new owner who can continue its history and traditions, whilst also preserving the opulent fixtures and fittings in the shop. The dispensary in the front shop area, for example, was last fitted in 1896 and all of the fittings are original.
The business currently operates 6 days per week: 0800-1700 Monday to Friday, 0800-1400 on Saturday and closed on Sunday. W. E. Howden is generating an excellent turnover and gross profit margin but there is a genuine opportunity to improve the current financial performance. The current owner cites the Borders equine market as a growth area as well as developing the online and offline sales of its two own brand products: Kelso Cobbles and Coldstream Crunch.
The business specialises in pet food supplies and is the main agent for most of the leading brands. It has an extremely well-established doorstep delivery service utilising a large and fully liveried transit van. It also dispenses veterinary medicines and of the three members of staff (1 x full-time and 2 x part-time) one is a Suitably Qualified Person (sqp) in this regard and the other will shortly be an sqp.
Despite the historic nature of the business, it has embraced modern marketing and business methods with a very active Facebook presence and website. In addition, the customer database, which is extensive and uk-wide, is fully computerised and includes all client purchases and payment histories.
Coldstream is located on the border between Scotland and England and is set on the banks of the River Tweed. It is surrounded by picturesque countryside and is approximately 48 miles south-east of Edinburgh, 15 miles west of Berwick-upon-Tweed and 12 miles east of Kelso.
The subjects are located centrally on the north side of the town's High Street where there is a mixture of commercial and residential properties. The street comprises a variety of local shops, small cafes and several hotels to cater for the many tourists who visit the town.
There is plenty of on street parking outside the premises which is ideal for stock deliveries and customer collections.
The subjects comprise the ground floor of a two storey property. The frontage is b-listed and is easily identified by the six roman style columns to the front each constructed out of pink polished granite.
The front shop has been carefully preserved and still contains the original serving counter and an entire wall of hand-crafted dispensing units from the last time the shop was refitted in 1896. The mid-shop provides plenty of space for product display with the rear area reserved for a small office, staff tea prep and WC.
There is a separate storage area just off the mid-shop. Additional storage facilities for bulk goods are located at a local farm where a rent is paid for this facility.
According to our recent measurement survey we calculate the approximate net internal area to be:
79.5 sq m (856 sq ft)
Absolute Ownership (Scottish equivalent of freehold).
Fixed price of £139,999 inclusive of the property, fixtures and fittings, all stock, delivery van and customer database is sought. Accounts will be provided to interested parties who have undertaken a viewing.
According to the Scottish Assessor's website the subjects have a Rateable Value of £4,250. The uniform business rate for the current year is £0.484 pence in the pound.
For properties with a Rateable Value of £15,000 and under occupiers may be eligible for 100% rates relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme, depending on individual circumstances.
The property is served by mains electricity and water.
Energy performance certificate
The EPC rating is pending.
Each party shall bear their own legal costs in this transaction.
All prices quoted are exclusive of VAT and the seller reserves the option to add VAT (if applicable) and appropriate to be adjusted by agreement.
Currently trading and entry and take over date by negotiation with seling agents.
Joint agents and viewing
By appointment through the joint selling agents Allied Surveyors Scotland and Hastings Legal.
To arrange a viewing call Hastings Legal on lines open until 10pm 7 days a week.