Wayfarer’s Arcade in Southport has been sold to a property management firm after a century of family led ownership.

Panther Securities Ltd finalised the deal to take control of the famous Lord Street based arcade late last week – ending a 120 year ownership by the Pedlar family of Southport.

The group already have a foothold in Southport, as their sister company English Rose Partnership took control of the Beales department store group in February last year.

For the past 40 years Wayfarers has been under the tenure of Lord Street Properties – a collective made up of members of the Pedlar and Lynch family who can trace their association with the site back to 1896.

New owner Andrew Perloff of Panther Securities said: “As a substantially family owned company, we are very keen to invest in long standing family businesses. It is a great privilege to have ownership of this historic 120-year-old arcade.

“We saw Southport as a town worthy of investment when we purchased Beales and it is a perfect fit to add Wayfarers Arcade to our portfolio.”

The family who have sold Wayfarers to Panther Securities PLC has been involved in Southport’s retail sector for over 120 years.

In 1896 Arthur Mercy was the Finance Director of Broadbents Bon Marche which is now Beales.

His son-in-law Vyvian Pedlar opened a shop on Lord Street in 1929 and in 1935 he moved his business into Wayfarers Arcade (then known as the Leyland).

His three shops together became Wayfarers Arts later to be run by his son Arthur Pedlar until 1997.  Vyvian’s other son, Anthony Pedlar was from 1963 to 1982 the Managing Director of Broadbents and Boothroyds Department Stores which were the two largest stores in the town.

When Anthony died in 1982, his wife Mary took over – and after the two retail stores were sold in 1990 the Pedlar family retained ownership of the property and Wayfarers Shopping Arcade under a new company called Lord Street Properties with Mary as Managing Director.

Mary’s daughter Nicola Lynch took over as MD in 2005 with Mary as Chairman.

Nicola said: “My family has played a significant part in the retailing life of Southport for many, many years.

“Broadbents and Boothroyds and Wayfarers Arcade have been handed down through the generations.

“The sale of the arcade is the end of an era and it will be the first time in 120 years that a member of the Pedlar family will not be contributing to the retail life of Southport.

“Lord Street Properties has spent over £2 million since 2000, maintaining the arcade to the high standard it is today, ensuring it continues as the town’s most treasured shopping destination.

“In Panther Securities PLC we have found a buyer we know will look after Wayfarers with as much care and attention as we have done over the years.”


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