THE owner of a well-known antiques and home-interiors shop is looking to find a buyer for his business, after claiming he had been ‘forced to sell up’.
David Hick said a banking scandal had taken a devastating toll on his health and wellbeing.
David Hick Interiors has expanded significantly over the past 48 years, and is now based in a purpose-built 16,000 sq-ft showroom at Carrefour Selous in St Lawrence.
Mr Hick, who took out a loan 15 years ago to fund the expansion of his business, said: ‘I was the victim of the mis-selling scandal, having been sold a swap [a form of payment protection] in 2007.’
He added: ‘I have been in dispute with the bank for nearly ten years, seeking redress for the huge disruption this caused to the running of my business.
‘This has impacted heavily on my health, to the point that I am now offering my business for sale.
‘It is a great business and has an enormous following in the Island. I truly hope to find someone who will enjoy the business as much as I have done.’
Mr Hick was one of 30,000 small-to-medium-sized businesses across the British Isles to fall victim to the ‘financial scandal’, which has forced some of the UK’s best-known banks to pay out £2.2 billion in compensation and damages to firms that were mis-sold a form of payment protection.
Over a difficult decade, Mr Hick kept running the business, greeting his customers and staff with a smile when he knew that both he and the firm were being worn down by the battle for compensation.
His loyal staff, meanwhile, stepped up to help run the business, something he said he was eternally grateful for.
‘I owe it to my staff to get fresh blood in to take on this business, which I have absolutely loved running for the past four decades. The business is going in a great direction.
‘We enjoy a very loyal and discerning customer base, a wealth of good suppliers and extremely professional and dedicated staff.’
Mr Hick said he would love to see someone from a younger generation who shares his passion for furniture, fabrics and kitchens take on the business and keep it running as the go-to place in Jersey for top-quality interior products and service.
He added that while an outright sale would be his preference, he would be prepared to help a suitable person or persons with the sale, but it would still require a reasonable investment.