A FURNITURE business owner has had a ‘wonderful’ career as he announces his retirement after more than 50 years in the industry.

David Phipp will close the doors on his shop and showroom in Ringwood Road, Ferndown, at the end of September.

The 77-year-old began his career in the furniture industry after leaving school in 1965, joining the department store J.J. Allen’s.

It wasn’t long before he set up on his own, opening his first shop at Parley Cross in 1972, selling second-hand furniture and doing mattress repairs across the area, including at some of the hotels in Bournemouth.

David then set up shop in Glenmore Road, selling beds, and in Longham, selling upholstery.

(Image: David Phipp)

Then, the Ferndown store opened its doors in 1992 and David has since seen his two daughters, Sarah and Susie, join the business, alongside his wife, Annie.

The shop and showroom was a hotel when David took over, and he said how they cleared the hotel with the help of the public, as the hotel owners had left everything as it was when it closed.

“We had a queue up the road the weekend we did it and police came around and telling [people] you can't park in the central reservation,” he said.

“So many people, they were just ripping stuff off the walls and phones and everything.”

The shop became established and gained a fantastic reputation.

(Image: David Phipp Home Furnisher)

“It's been a really, really successful business, but I've had a wonderful staff,” David said.

“They are like friends and family and most of the staff have been with me 20 years, 30 years.

“It's a great shame and it's a big, big decision to make.

“I've had some fantastic times here and in the furnishing trade, we were very well respected, and I've had so many letters and cards and things from people saying, we're sorry you're closing down.”

Reflecting on some of the highlights over the years, David told of the shop’s sponsorship of the Red Arrows at the Bournemouth Air Festival in 2005 and getting the opportunity to watch the elite team train in Lincolnshire.

On his retirement decision, David said he had a ‘little stroke’ before Christmas, and he was ‘way over retirement age’, adding retail is ‘very difficult’ at the moment.

Looking forward, David said: “I'm football mad. [I] would go and watch Bournemouth, used to play down Bournemouth when I was a kid, but apart from that, I don't know what I'm going to do when I retire.”