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Family business Houstons sells its Banbridge, Portadown and Lurgan stores to Menarys

Philip & Stephen McCammon of Menarys, pictured with John Houston (centre).

Leading local award-winning family business, Menarys, has unveiled some huge growth plans for 2024.

The company, who celebrated their centenary in 2023, have secured a deal with longstanding business owners and family friends, The Houston family.

John Houston, Managing Director of Houstons, is to retire later this year and it has been agreed that Menarys will acquire five of the Houstons stores.

The deal will result in the Houstons branches in Banbridge, Enniskillen, Portadown, Lurgan and Downpatrick all being rebranded as Menarys.

Having opened a new store at The Junction, Antrim in late 2023, this development will bring the Menarys group up to 23 stores, including two in Ireland and their first English store which opened in Ramsgate in 2022.

Houstons was founded 74 years ago in 1950, by brothers Robert and Kennedy Houston.

Robert and Kennedy were long-time friends of the late Brian McCammon of Menarys from the early 1970s.

The next generation of Houstons and McCammons have remained friends until the present day, having first worked together back in the 1990s.

Menarys Managing Director, Stephen McCammon said: “We are delighted to see these two historic family businesses coming together under the Menarys name.

“Both brands have been synonymous with quality product at fair prices and authentic, friendly service and these values will continue.

“Menarys will rebrand Houstons stores in Lurgan, Portadown, Downpatrick, Banbridge and Enniskillen and look forward to welcoming the Houstons branch teams into the Menarys family.

“There are great similarities in the Houstons and Menarys businesses and as John retires, it made perfect sense for the two businesses to work together to complete this deal. We look forward to serving Houstons many loyal customers in these five towns and hope we are able to successfully combine a little of what we believe Menarys are great at, with the existing strong Houstons product offering.”

Of the deal, John Houston said: “I would reiterate Stephen’s generous words; the two families have had strong business and family connections for many years. Succession and protection of jobs within the local communities has been my key driver – my children are now young adults, pursuing their own career interests outside of retailing and this amalgamation ensures a continued local independent department store presence in five prominent towns in the province and safeguards over 80 jobs.

“I believe Menarys have acquired a fabulous customer focused sales team with a loyal customer base synonymous with the Houston Brand, and we wish Stephen and his team every success in this exciting expansion of their business.”

The first branch to rebrand as Menarys will be Lurgan in early May and the final branch will be Banbridge in October, later this year.

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