'I still love doing it' - New chapter for 30-year-old furniture firm

Steptoes owner Richard Holliday has moved the Dereham business into a new home

Steptoes owner Richard Holliday has moved the Dereham business into a new home - Credit: Archant

One of Dereham's longest-established businesses has begun a new chapter by moving out of its decades-old home. 

Second-hand furniture store Steptoes had, for 30 years, been based in a property on the front row of the town's High Street. 

The new permanent home of Steptoes in Dereham

The new permanent home of Steptoes in Dereham - Credit: Archant

But now the building sits empty after owner Richard Holliday decided it was time for a change. 

Steptoes has not gone far, however. All stock has been moved into a pair of rear buildings on the site, which had already been used as shop space over the years and now form the company's permanent home. 

Mr Holliday, who is considering letting out the old premises, said the slight downsize was simply a sign of the times as demand and spending habits change. 

Owner Richard Holliday at Steptoes in Dereham

Owner Richard Holliday at Steptoes in Dereham - Credit: Archant

"It's completely different to how things were 30 years ago," added the Dereham-born 61-year-old.

"Back in the day we had a lot of trade people coming in. Once they know you've got a furniture shop, they keeping coming back. We would sell a lot of stuff to these second-hand shops out in the villages, but they're all gone now.

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"The High Street is much quieter these days, and the dark furniture is in lesser demand."

Some of the items for sale at Steptoes in Dereham

Some of the items for sale at Steptoes in Dereham - Credit: Archant

Mr Holliday and his wife, Christina, first opened Steptoes back in 1982. 

In the ensuing years it has become a Dereham institution, visited by multiple generations and known for its mazy layout. 

Regular customers continue to stop by, and Mr Holliday is confident the rising cost of living will not result in them staying away. 

Signs collected by Richard Holliday, owner of Steptoes in Dereham

Signs collected by Richard Holliday, owner of Steptoes in Dereham - Credit: Archant

"I don't think it has really made any difference," he added. "Everything in here is a quarter of the price it would be if you bought it new.

"A lot of the people who come in have just bought old cottages and they are buying old furniture. We have a few new bits which youngsters will buy.

"I do actually think a lot of people have got more money now. You used to notice a new car, but now there are hundreds going up and down."

Some of the items for sale at Steptoes in Dereham

Some of the items for sale at Steptoes in Dereham - Credit: Archant

While he hopes to one day pass on the mantle to his children and grandchildren, Mr Holliday said his work still brings him great pleasure. 

"I do still enjoy doing it," he added. "I do repairs and a bit of restoration - nothing too serious - but I love doing that during the winter time especially."