Electrical retailer has been sold to West Country firm HBH Woolacotts

A well-known Barnstaple electrical retailer has changed hands after 46 years.

Bernard Smith in the High Street has been bought by South West retailer HBH Woolacotts following the retirement of previous owner Richard Moore.

It was officially added to the company’s other nine stores – around Devon and Cornwall – yesterday (Monday).

Both parties in the sale are keen to assure customers very little will change and the store sales team will be mostly unchanged, with the same levels of customer service as before.

Woolacotts said it hoped to recruit one or two more sales staff and the newly rebranded store would be officially relaunched on Saturday, June 20.

Richard Moore said he was approaching 60 and it was time to retire, but added: “I wanted the business to carry on with a safe pair of hands.

“Woolacotts is that because they are a good family firm and so I know they will keep up the same customer care that we have always tried to provide.”

Chris Hemmerle, director at HBH Woolacotts, said the they already delivered to North Devon twice a week but had otherwise stayed out of the region because of their friendship with Richard.

“Now circumstances have changed and he presented us with the opportunity to take it on,” he said.

“It’s quite a natural thing for us, with our existing North Devon customer base, so hopefully it will improve the service to our customers in Barnstaple and North Devon.”

Bernard Smith was first established in Barnstaple in 1948.