A long-standing family business has been put up for sale after almost 120 years’ trading, due to the lack of an heir wanting to take over the firm.

Lawsons, which sells kitchen and cookery hardware from shops in Totnes and Ivybridge as well as Tavistock, is selling all the stores and is awaiting interest.

Lawson managing director Liz Lawson said: “It is with very mixed emotions that today I am announcing that Lawsons is on the market for sale as a going concern. In 2024 Lawsons will have been trading for 120 years.

"As a business we are starting to plan for the succession of the business, as there is not any family succession the board has taken the decision to sell I know this will come as a shock to many of our customers, so please know this decision has not been made lightly.

"Obviously Lawsons means a great deal not only to me and my family but also to the team that works so hard every day and our loyal customers which makes it the success we are today. It is our objective to sell these shops as going concerns, so we can preserve jobs and the businesses can continue to be an essential part of our communities.”

Liz, who is the fourth generation of the Lawson family to lead the firm, stressed that Lawsons continue to be open as normal and online to provide "everything her customers expect".

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all out customers for their support and custom over the years and hope they will continue to support Lawsons and the team going forward," she said.

Tom Lawson, company founder, opened the first shop in 1904 in Plymouth as a tool shop supplying the Devonport Dockyard and apprentices.

In 1979 John Lawson, Tom Lawson’s grandson, opened the shop in Totnes and in 1992 a shop in Tavistock. In 1994, his daughter Liz became Tavistock manager and was then appointed managing director in 1998.