A family-run Derby newsagents passed down through six generations is still going strong after more than 170 years of trading in the city centre. Poynton’s has operated from Brook Street, Derby Market Hall, and most recently at Derby’s biggest shopping centre, Derbion.
Owner Richard Poynton has expressed his great pride at continuing the long-standing tradition and preserving the reputation of the independent business, alongside his wife, Paige, and dad, Andrew. With the Market Hall currently undergoing a multi-million pound revamp, and not expected to reopen until 2024, Richard took the big decision set up shop elsewhere earlier this year.
Last month, the retailer opened its new outlet at the city shopping centre on Crown Walk next to Bodycare and near Birds. Primarily a newsagents, specialising in magazines, the store also stocks model trains and diecast cars, greetings cards, traditional sweets in jars, and pick ‘n’ mix stands with over 80 types to choose from.
Explaining what customers can expect from his new store, which opened on July 12, Richard said: “Primarily a newsagents, we have the biggest selection of magazines anywhere we’ve ever seen. There is a magazine for just about anything, from birdwatching to camping magazines, if we haven’t got it we will try and get it, and if we can’t get it, it probably doesn’t exist.
“Newsagents over the years have changed massively but there is nothing like holding an actual magazine in your hand. A lot of people still like that. Yes you can get them delivered to your doors from publishers, but is that really the same as visiting a store, being served, speaking to an actual person.
“We started as a newsagents and we will always be a newsagents, but for things to progress we have had to diversify into other things, which is why our shop has such an array of items for everyone. As most people will know in the Market Hall we used to sell a selection of household items such as teapots, mop heads and enamel dishes, due to high demand we have a dedicated corner to these items.”
The 36-year-old Allestree resident went onto talk about how the shop has been received so far after around six weeks of trading. He said: “The first few weeks of trading are going great. We love our new shop, its vibrant, fresh and in a great location.
“Having traded in Derby for all these years, we’ve got so many customers we truly missed when the Market Hall shut 18 months ago. Some did follow us to our sister store in Allestree but that’s just not a practical location for everyone.
“Since opening we have seen a vast amount of familiar faces and it really is nice to be back in the city centre serving them. Along with all the new ones, of course.
“Our customers love it. We have had the nicest feedback from our customers. Which from us is such a relief we put in so much hard work to get the shop looking as good as it does and it will only get better with time. We have lots more to do and lots more exciting things to add to our array of goods.”
The business started out in Brook Street in 1848, before launching a Derby Market Hall stall in 1866, and Richard says it became the first retailer to sell the Derby Telegraph when it first went in print in 1879. The Brook Street branch remained in the same spot right into the 1950s, when the building was compulsorily purchased by the council.
The retailer also runs Poynton’s Pastimes at Park Farm Shopping Centre, in Allestree, which stocks a wide range of model kits, cars and trains. This store will continue to trade alongside the new Derbion branch.
Richard took a trip down memory lane and recalled the way he become inspired to continue the Poynton’s legacy as a young boy visiting his dad and grandad working on the Market Hall stall. He said: “It was a big decision for us to leave the Market Hall behind and start a new chapter, the Market Hall is all I’ve ever know, from such a young age I would go into the market to see my grandad and my dad.
“I’d ride around the stalls on my little trike while my mum helped my dad on the stall. When I left school I knew I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and inherit his passion for the business.
“In the Market Hall each generation brought a little bit of something to the stalls toys, jigsaws, cards, you name it one of the family members would have sold it.
“So when the plans for the new Market Hall were revealed we as a family had a decision to make, wait at least another two more years to continue the adventure or start a new one. We chose the latter. And were so glad we did.
“We loved the Market Hall it was our home, we spent more hours there than at home, but with the changes being so big in there, we don’t think its not going to be the place for us. So our new home on Crown Walk is where we will stay hopefully for years to come.
“I myself along with my wife and dad are so proud to be continuing the long standing heritage and reputation of our business within the city centre. I know were not in the same location but were still the same family doing what we do best and we will strive to continue to bring a little bit of market trader into our shop.”
Here at Derbyshire Live, we launched our Love your Local campaign on Monday, June 27. In the weeks since then, we have been shining a light on independent retail and hospitality businesses across the county to help people to appreciate their local shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
So far, we have spoken to independent shop owners on Sadler Gate, in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, long-serving Derbion jewellers Judith Hart, an Ilkeston shop owner stocking locally-sourced gins and rums, and Dave Hill, who has run BPM Records in Old Blacksmiths Yard for more than three decades. Earlier this month, the owners of long-standing Derby retro video gaming firm Retro World said their first-ever standalone shop has enjoyed a strong start to trading from a “brilliant location”.
Explaining the importance of supporting local businesses, Richard said: “It is so important people continue to support independent businesses. When someone buys from us we do a little happy dance, its our lifeline. I think people forget that by shopping local and supporting independent businesses your directly contributing to your local community.
“You buy something from an independent business in your area, that owner then uses that money to send their child to dance lessons, or even a pint in the local pub. Shopping at independent businesses promotes individuality and breathes new life into the city that is usually dominated by big companies.
“Without doubt independent businesses bring something different. It’s more personal, independent businesses are run by people, in our case a family. They’re not run by shareholders or boards.
“Customers get to know who’s serving them, a personal touch can not be matched by any chain store. When you shop with us we are serving you not a robot, or a computer, we take your items and put them through the till, we don’t expect you to do it yourself.
“I mean where else can you go buy a newspaper, a jigsaw and a mop all in one place? All while receiving great customer service.”
Written by: Admin