Published: June 7, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea shoe shop serves final customers after 25 years

A Burnham shoe shop served its final customers and closed its doors for the last time on Saturday evening (June 6th) after 25 years of business.

Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report earlier this year how JPS Footwear, situated on the corner of the High Street and Pier Street, would be closing with the loss of six jobs, due in part to cripplingly-high business rates.

The store shut at 5pm on Saturday, with Julie Walsh and her son Rhys from Brean, pictured here, the final customers to buy a pair of shoes from manager Jackie Shickle.

Julie told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "My son and I have been regular customers for many years and wanted to be the very last people to buy a pair of shoes. I'm very sad to see it go - the shop will be missed."

Director Geoff Shickle, who is trying to prevent the store being boarded up, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Business rates have been the final death knell for us."

"We paid over £1,200 a month and, as a ratio against other costs, that was entirely disproprionate."

He 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."

"We 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."

JPS Footwear has sold over one million pairs of shoes since opening and has employed more than 200 local people, including many students.

Geoff 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.




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