Charitable shop closes

Jasmine Closing down'PA1109-11
Jasmine Closing down'PA1109-11

A BRIDLINGTON fashion shop that has raised thousands of pounds for charity has closed down due to dwindling numbers of town centre shoppers.

Jasmine womenswear on Manor Street shut up shop on Tuesday after trading in the town for eight years, during which time it supported around 16 fashion shows which raised up to £16,000 for various charities.

Owner Liz Dee admitted it was a ‘difficult decision’ to close the store but said that the last two years in Bridlington had been tough for independent businesses and there was now not enough trade to sustain her shop through the winter months.

She said: “The first six years were wonderful, but the last two, especially in the winter months, have just been dire.

“The winter months have always been hard because this is a seasonal place, but there is not enough trade in the summer months to carry you through anymore.

“I think when times are hard, women in particular put themselves at the bottom of the list and cut back on their own things to help their families, and that has hit us.”

Liz had hoped to continue trading in the town this summer and had even ordered the new spring collection, but by the end of last November she had to make the difficult decision to cancel the order and begin winding the shop down.

She said: “That was the hardest part, making that decision, it was devastating really.

“I thought that the new spring collection was the best we’d ever had, it was all lovely, but I realised that we just couldn’t carry on.

“You keep thinking, ‘we’ll wait and see what the next season brings, I’ll hang on for another good season’, but it got to the point where I just thought ‘I’m not going to make it here anymore’.

“Now it’s come to packing the shop away, I’ve just been going through the motions.”

Jasmine was Liz’s first business and although she has enjoyed the experience, she has no plans to open another shop in Bridlington or elsewhere.

“I will not be moving to another premises, I’ll just be looking for another job now,” she said.

“I have absolutely loved it, all my lovely loyal customers have been wonderful, but there just wasn’t enough of them in the end.”

The closure of the shop also marks the end of the Jasmine fund-raising fashion shows which have benefited numerous local and national charities over the years.

Liz and a team of organisers would take new Jasmine collections to venues such as the Expanse Hotel and Bridlington golf clubs to stage the catwalk shows and would donate the ticket proceedings to charity.

Each show would raise around £1,000 and organisations such as Bridlington Samaritans, Yorkshire Cancer Research and Help for Heroes have benefited from the events in the past.

“That is what I would really like the shop to be remembered for,” said Liz, who employed one other member of staff, Brenda Furness, who had worked with her since the beginning.

Jasmine’s plight is similiar to that of the town centre’s Burger King which closed in November due to lack of trade over the winter months and the company that operated the branch, HLBK, is now in the hands of liquidators Geoffrey Martin & Co.

The town centre’s Burton menswear store, which employs 10 people, is also expected to close on April 2.

However, Bridlington’s Star Buys shop on Prince Street is not shutting despite displaying ‘closing down sale’ banners. Star Buys, which moved into the old Woolworths building in 2009, will only be closing temporarily at the end of March for refurbishment.