Ulverston shop closes one month after starting play zone
Last updated at 14:35, Thursday, 30 December 2010
A CONVENIENCE store has closed – just one month after its boss spent thousands of pounds converting over half of the shop into a children’s play area.
Kevin Lackey opened the soft play zone in his Hart Street Convenience Store because trade had suffered following the arrival of Tesco Express last year, as well as the revamp of the Co-op, in Ulverston town centre.
When the planning application to convert part of the store was submitted to South Lakeland District Council in March, Mr Lackey said it would involve investment of £25,000.
However, the closure of the business was confirmed when a sign was put in the store window, bringing to an end Mr Lackey’s five-and-a-half years at the store. The sign said: “It is with great regret that we have had to close the shop and play area with immediate effect.
“This is due to the current economic downturn which we are all facing at this time and this unfortunately means that it is no longer a viable option to keep the business active.”
The children’s soft play area opened on November 16.
Mr Lackey had told the Evening Mail he was even considering the possibility of converting the entire building into a play zone.
The facility was a unique venture for Furness and South Lakeland because the equipment was inflatable, not fixed, and could be regularly changed.
Mr Lackey also owns Urswick Road Stores in Croftlands, Ulverston.
He said, with the lease shortly due to end on the Hart Street business, the time was right to reduce his commitments and spend more time with his family.
The shopkeeper said: “It’s just a decision we’ve decided to make to drop our hours and go back to Urswick Road Stores.
“The lease was up at the end of December and we just decided we’ve not got enough time. We didn’t want to sign another lease, and that was it really.
“(The kids’ play area) was doing reasonably well, but we had to make a decision. Because the lease was up, we had to look at that because it ties you up for a fair period of time.
“As much as the play side of it would have probably progressed, it probably wouldn’t have done what we thought it would, along with the shop’s decline. It’s just a case of having a bit more quality of life.”
First published at 13:09, Thursday, 30 December 2010
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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What a shame, used this store alot over the last 3 years and had a great laugh with the owners!! its about time that the local councils started looking at keeping local friendly shops open and offering help etc because once all the small shops have gone, they will have gone forever!! Down with the corperate stores that are taking over the world with the souless attitude...lets bring back the town centres not just in ulverston but Dalton and Barrow too, bring back the butcher, the baker and the grocers stores...enough of the big guys now, let the little people back in what is rightfully theres and make shopping pleasurable and sociable once more with quality goods and less wrappers and waste! rant over..
Small town mentality against broad thinkers and out of town competition