Tibor Killi: 'Iconic' Sheffield repair shop T.L.Killi's closes after more than 60 years

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The beloved shop’s “remarkable” owner, Tibor Killi, passed away in July 2023.

A beloved family-run Sheffield shop that has been a fixture of the city’s history for more than 60 years has closed its doors for good.

The T.L. Killi's vacuum repair shop has been a fixture of Glossop Road for more than six decades.

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T.L. Killi's vacuum repair store on Glossop Road has been a part of Sheffield's history for more than six decades, with its founder, Mr Tibor Killi, as its beating heart.T.L. Killi's vacuum repair store on Glossop Road has been a part of Sheffield's history for more than six decades, with its founder, Mr Tibor Killi, as its beating heart.
T.L. Killi's vacuum repair store on Glossop Road has been a part of Sheffield's history for more than six decades, with its founder, Mr Tibor Killi, as its beating heart. | Submit

Established in 1964, its founder, Mr Tibor Killi, built a thriving company that expanded over the years, with two more sites opening in Handsworth in the 1980s and another in 2019.

Sadly, Mr Killi passed away in July 2023 - and now, the store on Glossop Road has locked up for the final time.

It comes after the family firm, Killis, announced the shop’s closure on April 12, saying the Glossop Road was not the same without him.

Tibor Killi outside his shop T.L Killi's on Glossop Road, in Sheffield city centre in 2020. The ‘remarkable’ businessman passed away in July 2023.Tibor Killi outside his shop T.L Killi's on Glossop Road, in Sheffield city centre in 2020. The ‘remarkable’ businessman passed away in July 2023.
Tibor Killi outside his shop T.L Killi's on Glossop Road, in Sheffield city centre in 2020. The ‘remarkable’ businessman passed away in July 2023.

Speaking earlier this month, a spokesperson said: “Now, a new chapter in the Killis' story has begun, and we regret to announce that the Glossop Road branch will be permanently closing on April 26.

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“We aim to pay tribute to Mr Killi's outstanding life and accomplishments and preserve the company he built by concentrating on our core business strengths. We have some thrilling expansion plans for Killis, which will celebrate and uphold his vision.”

Tibor Killi in 1999Tibor Killi in 1999
Tibor Killi in 1999 | Paul Chappels

Tibor Killi’s remarkable life story of how he escaped Budapest as a teenager after being involved in the uprising against Soviet rule and his strive to build his own future in England led to an outpouring of tributes after his death.

Customers said his shop was “one of a kind” in the modern day with its traditional service and face-to-face ethos. While trying to put a name to the store’s ambience, several fans warmly compared it to Arkwright’s from the Ronnie Barker sitcom ‘Open All Hours’.

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One fan, Paul Burniston, wrote earlier this month: “Inside that shop is brilliant - like a little trip back in time. With the counter and how it's set out, hopefully that will be kept for the next lease of life in it."

The firm added that the “outpouring of support” from customers since Mr Killi's passing has been “extremely comforting”, and called the upcoming closure as “hard decisions to secure our future.”

The spokesperson said: “All operations will migrate to our branch in Handsworth, where we have full servicing, hire, a trade counter, and a showroom. From April 26, any outstanding work will automatically transfer to Handsworth.

“This year also marks our 60th year of trading, and this summer we are planning a party with all our staff. Part of this is to recognise and celebrate Mr Killi's accomplishments and what the entire team has achieved over such a long time.”

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