Trader forced to close says ‘use or lose’ Rasen shops

Blue River Jewellery owner Wendy Harrison EMN-160102-104116001
Blue River Jewellery owner Wendy Harrison EMN-160102-104116001
  • Owner: ‘The problem isn’t Market Rasen, it’s a nationwide change in habits’

The owner of a Market Rasen jewellery shop closing due to a lack of footfall has urged residents to ‘use or lose’ town centre shops.

Wendy Harrison has announced the closure of her Queen Street shop Blue River Jewellery, saying it is no longer viable.

“It’s use it or lose it. It sounds rather blunt but it’s the reality.”

Wendy Harrison

Ms Harrison, who has traded since 2009, says high streets across the country are being hit by the rise of online shopping - and that the problem is not confined to Market Rasen.

She said: “People have said the problem is Market Rasen, but it’s not.

“It’s retail sales in general.

“The customers we used to have and the amount of people in the town on a regular basis has changed.

“It’s how the population in general have changed their shopping habits, they’re going online.

“I rang one of my suppliers to let them know and I was the third person in the last week to tell them they were closing.

“I thought about it (closing) last year but I don’t like to give up so I gave it another year.

“But it comes to a point when you have to say enough is enough.”

And Ms Harrison has warned there may be more closures if people do not support the high street.

She said: “It’s down to the community - if they want these shops they have to use them.

“It’s use it or lose it. It sounds rather blunt but it’s the reality.”

She added: “At Christmas people were shopping for bits and pieces rather than buying their main gifts because they’d already bought them somewhere else.”

But, despite the tough trading conditions, Ms Harrison says she will miss having her store.

She said: “I’ve met some wonderful customers over the years and would like to thank them for their loyal support.”

Blue River Jewellery will close its doors for the final time on Thursday, March 31.

From March 1, Ms Harrison’s popular incense products and some jewellery will be available at the Rasen 

And items will also be available at the Blue River Facebook page.

In the coming months Ms Harrison hopes to set up a website and have a presence in town ‘once or twice a fortnight’.