Business Address: Lukehurst, Sittingbourne Outlet Centre, Unit 7B Sittingbourne Retail Park, Mill Way, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 2XD
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The Lukehursts were a well-known family in the Sittingbourne and Medway area long before Gerald opened his first store in Rainham in 1970.
Gerald opened his first shop at the somewhat surprising age of 53, having managed the long-established Sittingbourne business, John Peters, for over 25 years.
The first day’s sale at Lukehurst – the sale of a pillow - amounted to 4 shillings and 11 pence. It was not long before Lukehurst expanded, opening at Watling Street in Chatham in 1972. This coincided with Gerald’s son, Martin, joining the business.
The business was further developed in the late 1970’s when three units opened in the Rainham shopping centre. Two years later, the flagship store in Rainham High Street moved into the former Lipton’s supermarket, adding another 10,000 square feet.
The Sittingbourne store opened in 1983, taking over the former Nash’s furniture store in the High Street - realising a dream for Gerald to return to Sittingbourne after a break of 13 years. The High Street store closed in July 2010 following the opening of the Retail Park outlet in Mill Way, Sittingbourne. The Retail Park outlet is easily accessible and offers Lukehurst’s full range of furniture, from sofas to dining tables, beds and occasional furniture.
The company also has a converted Victorian chapel in Orchard Street, Rainham showcasing the Lukehurst range of carpets and curtains. A 10,000 square feet warehouse on the Eurolink estate in Sittingbourne is used for the daily dispatch and delivery of carpets, furniture and beds throughout the region.
The company now employs 40 people and the business has increased somewhat from that first day in October 1970 when just 25 pence was taken