A Bournemouth shopkeeper says she is struggling to say in business and sometimes only makes £25 a day.

Tilly Lever, manager of Vintage Paradise, a clothing store based in The Arcade, has called for action to help fix problems faced by people trying to make a living in the town.

She said: “Business was good in the summer but then the winter came, and we were actually going to close”.

“I’d say end of last month, beginning of this month, we’ve had days where we only make £25. [The] target for the day is at least £180 or over £100. It’s a bit concerning,” she added.


When asked what the town needs to improve, she said ‘I just think it’s everything’.

Tilly believes Bournemouth town centre ‘just needs to be nourished’ and that ‘you should focus on what you’ve got’ rather than new developments.

“If the town is struggling in terms of money, we don’t need things that are going to be more expensive and high class,” she said.

“If you need anything now, you think to go to Castlepoint, you don’t think to come to the centre now because they’ve taken everything away. If Zara goes, then I think that’s it for Bournemouth. Yeah, I genuinely think that is it.”

Meanwhile, Browns of Bournemouth, in Old Christchurch Road, sells luxury designer brands of clothing and accessories Manager Bianca Jones describes the town centre as ‘absolute carnage with a massive drop in sales’.

Bournemouth Echo:

She said: “Rent [is] still the same, business rates gone up, everything’s gone up.”

“More shops that close, the more it affects the ones that are still trying to survive. Nobody wants to come into Bournemouth,” she added. Bianca said it’s embarrassing when holiday makers visit and ask ‘where’s Marks & Spencer? Or where’s H&M, where’s New Look?’. “They’re all gone,” she said.

She said that shops endure ‘constant thieving’ and that homelessness and drug use is shocking. Even the big chains are even leaving now, she said.

“It’s not even just the small businesses that aren’t surviving.

“It definitely has an effect on the shops, this homelessness, the drugs and stuff like that.”

Bianca said landlords should drop rates, arguing it would be better to have somebody paying rent than just have an empty unit.

And, that ‘parking needs to be reduced’.

She described the beach as beautiful but added: “I don’t think the council cares.

That’s how it comes across.”

“Like they’re just not bothered. They need to get bothered because they’re not going to have a town to run though.”

Bianca said she doesn’t know how long Browns will survive for.

“If we make it to the end of this year, it will be a blessing,” she said.

The Daily Echo has been speaking to residents, shopkeepers, councillors and more concerning the state of the high street.
Scores of shops have closed for good, meanwhile, big-name retailers have moved elsewhere.
Bournemouth has been described as the jewel of the south coast, but what does the future hold?
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