Derby House is promising “much improved service”, despite closing down the equestrian side of its flagship store, at Wrightington, Lancs.

This follows the closure of seven other equestrian stores in the past two years.

The troubled retailer has been undergoing a restructure since 2011. Its Facebook timeline and Twitter feeds are full of customer complaints about slow delivery and out-of-stock items.

But commercial director Mark Reeves denied that the company is teetering on the brink of closure. He said its new combination of selling solely online and moving to fulfilling orders in-house should revive customer satisfaction.

“This summer has been difficult,” he said. “But since last week when the move was completed, everything people order is physically in stock, so the problems that have occurred with the third-party fulfilment won’t be repeated.”

H&H forum user “Lula” told H&H that she would need to “see proof that service has improved considerably” before putting her trust in Derby House again. She placed seven orders with the company earlier this year.

“Long waits for goods were annoying, but I persisted, until finally losing patience when even my refunds went missing,” she said.

The British Equestrian Trade Association said that all retailers “go through tough times”.

“We have gone back to Derby House after complaints from customers and it’s been very honest about its problems,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “Now it has corrected and addressed these issues and is moving forward in a positive way.”

This story originally appeared in H&H 31 October 2013