DAS Outdoors, the Denbigh army surplus stores, has been forced to reduce its staff by 50 per cent.

The business, which is based on Colomendy Industrial Estate, was due to celebrate its 30 anniversary but regrettably the year has ended on a sombre note.

Rich Brady, managing director, said: “It's been a challenging year for retailers, big and small. unfortunately, we have not escaped those same challenges. Sales and profits are both down. We've tried all sorts of different initiatives to improve things, but nothing is working, or at least nothing has been working quick enough. Which has meant we've had to make some quite radical decisions.”

The outcome is that three staff have had to leave, and that just leaves Rich and his parents Mick and Jan, who founded the business.

However there are plans for a brighter future. The company announced a new direction for the business in January 2018; moving away from its army surplus roots to focus on outdoor shelters made from ex-military parachutes.

Mr Brady believes attracting more US customers and improving their schools offering will help improve sales. He added: “North America has a huge population that love the outdoors; with a weakening pound and better shipping rates, I’m certain we can secure more customers from overseas.

“As for schools, the parachute shelters we manufacture are perfect outdoor classrooms, so I’m working on improving the service we can give schools too.”