Melton shopkeeper forced to close after nine years trading in town centre

Julie Swayne, who has decided to close her JJ's Lingerie shop in Melton EMN-180304-155932001
Julie Swayne, who has decided to close her JJ's Lingerie shop in Melton EMN-180304-155932001
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A Melton businesswoman blames dwindling footfall for having to close her lingerie shop after trading for nine years in the town.

Julie Swayne reluctantly closed the doors of JJ’s Lingerie, in Market Place, for the final time on Saturday.

Julie Swayne, who has decided to close her JJ's Lingerie shop in Melton EMN-180304-155943001

Julie Swayne, who has decided to close her JJ's Lingerie shop in Melton EMN-180304-155943001

She says it was no longer cost effective to continue trading in Melton because of a lack of visitors to Melton caused in part by exorbitant parking charges and also changes in shopping habits towards buying more clothing online.

The business initially employed five people when it opened in 2009 but it was down to just one at the end.

“There is not enough footfall to sustain the business unfortunately,” said Julie, who plans to take a holiday before deciding on her next career move.

“They shouldn’t have put up the parking charges and charged more on Tuesdays because it keeps the locals away from town.

“Whenever there are roadworks in Melton people go elsewhere like Thurmaston where it is cheaper.”

Mrs Swayne is concerned that the town centre may die off completely before the proposed bypass is built because of the roadworks which will be in place during its building.

She said: “I think they should do more now to attract shops to set up in Melton.

“More and more shops are closing and it will die if they don’t do something now before they start building the bypass.”

JJ’s Lingerie hit the headlines back in 2012 when the shop was ordered by trading standards to take down a display which featured five coloured hula hoops on mannequins, mirroring the iconic Olympic symbol.

It was designed to coincide with the carrying of the Olympic torch through the town ahead of the London games but it was found to breach strict regulations on how Olympic branding can be used.

The publicity didn’t harm Julie’s business, however, as the story was carried on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show and Sky Sport TV after appearing in the Melton Times.

She added: “It is disappointing to have to close.

“I have had a really loyal customer base and they have been coming in to say how sorry they are that we are closing.

“But I had to make the decision and it is time to go.”