February 6, 2009
Burnham shoe shop to close with loss of six jobs
recession and the high costs of business rates are being blamed
by the owner of a long-running Burnham-On-Sea shoe store which
announced its closure on Friday afternoon (February 6th).
Footwear, situated on the corner of the High Street and Pier Street,
will close with the loss of six jobs on June 6th - exactly 25
years after opening.
Director Geoff Shickle, pictured above, explained to Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"These are difficult times for all businesses, the retail
world in particular."
have run a very successful business for a quarter of a century,
and closure would not have been considered if escalating costs,
beyond our control, were likely to be capped. With a limited growth
in sales, a return to profitability looked increasingly remote."
of the six staff were briefed on Friday and a clearance sale starts
on Saturday (February 7th). We see our closing down sale as the
equivalent to a Woolworths in Burnham. With over 10,000 pairs
of shoes in stock, there will be bargains."
Footwear has contributed upwards of £250,000 to local authority
revenue through business rates - the costs of which have led to
rates have been the final death knell for us," said Mr Shickle.
"We pay over £1,200 a month and, as a ratio against
other costs, that is entirely disproprionate."
added: "The store will be greatly missed by residents and
visitors alike, many of whom would make a special detour on their
way south during the summer months."
would like to thank all our customers who have valued our business
over the years. There will be a big gap in Burnham High Street."
Turco, Chairman of Burnham's Chamber of Trade, said he was sorry
to hear about the news on Friday.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The Chamber would like to pay tribute
to Geoff and Jacqui Shickle and the staff at JPS for their contribution
to shopping in Burnham-On-Sea for the last twenty five years and
we are very sad to lose a long-standing member."
call upon the Town and District Councils to finalise the appointment
of the proposed 'Town Development Officer' to help attract new
businesses into Burnham into prominent locations such as JPS and
the former Job Centre to stimulate the local economy."
Footwear has sold over one million pairs of shoes since opening
and has employed more than 200 local people, including many students.
Shickle is also the owner of Shickle Shoes, also in Burnham High
Street, which continues to thrive and is unaffected by the closure
of JPS. Its online store here
is also continuing.
store joins a list of several firms in Burnham that have closed
in recent months, including French's
cafe in College Street, clothing store Dragonsurf in the High
Street, and the Burnham photography shop last
Burnham-On-Sea.com also recently reported here
how some town centre businesses are thriving in the recession.