JA Lyttle celebrates 40 years in town Spring into summer with a free mattress

ONE of the longest-running family businesses in Banbridge, JA Lyttle in Bridge Street, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.

And to thank customers for their loyalty over the years, founder of the furniture and giftware shop, Mr James Lyttle, is giving them the chance to win a new double or king-size mattress worth up to £350.

All you have to do for a free night’s sleep is guess the number of springs there are inside the mattress and you could be taking it home in time for bed.

“We thought it would be a fun way to mark our 40th anniversary and we’re hoping lots of people will come along and take a guess,” said Stephen Lyttle, who runs the furniture end of the business.

The store, which started life in Fred Elliot’s old butcher’s shop across the road, is divided into furniture and giftware sections, with the latter run by Mr Lyttle senior’s daughter, Ruth Skelly.

Both sections complement each other, with sofas, dining room tables, beds and occasional furniture often being matched up with accessories on the other side of the shop floor by customers keen to make all their purchases in one ‘go’.

In addition to quality furniture items, the shop has also become renowned for its extensive range of wooden flooring and window blinds and, to accommodate the growing contents, a 5,000 square foot extension was added to the premises some years ago.

“Wedding lists are now a major part of the service and we are in the process of launching a new website to allow customers the convenience of buying online as well,” said Stephen. “Customers come not only from Banbridge, but from towns all over Northern Ireland, so we also provide a reliable delivery service right to their door.”

Today, two delivery vans are used for that purpose, but 40 years ago when Mr Lyttle started up on his own after learning the trade as manager of the former McKeown’s and Radcliffe’s furniture stores, transport was via a Vauxhall Viva and car trailer - which was later replaced with a second-hand breadvan.

The business, which has as its motto, ‘Live a Lyttle’, still has personal service as its trademark and Mr Lyttle senior believes living by that principle is what has kept him at the top of his trade for so long.

“No distance is too far in terms of delivery” added Stephen. “People appreciate the personal touch, especially when they need advice or help and we are indebted to our staff, many of whom have been with us for decades, who provide that excellent service on a daily basis.”

The competition to win a mattress runs until 5.30pm on Tuesday, 31st July, 2012 and the winner will be announced in the 7th August edition of the Leader.