Vintage shop Becnicks Wonder Emporium will close later this month – but its owners have vowed they will be back under an exciting new guise.
The Brook Street boutique will shut after nearly six years of trading on February 25, due to rising overheads and changing retail habits.
However, co-founder Nicola Freer insists ‘it is not the end but the beginning of something new’.
Because instead, they will be relaunching as Becnicks Re-tailored Trading – offering ‘shopping that fits your lifestyle’.
Nicola told The Chronicle that while they have been left ‘out of pocket’ they are determined to continue selling their vintage and retro clothes, furniture and homeware using a new business model comprising an online shop and regular ‘creative community fairs’.
“Becnicks was never going to make us millionaires but the last year has left us badly out of pocket,” she said.
“We have worked insanely hard to keep going – hosting monthly free events and doing national fairs to raise our profile and hammering social media – but none of our hard work has paid off.
“Independent business is hard. Rates in Chester are very high and people’s retail habits and spending trends have changed dramatically.
“Everything is done online, with people looking for comparative prices, they have less time and money too.”
The first creative community fair will be held at Hoole Community Centre on Sunday, March 5, when Becnicks Re-tailored Trading will be joined by other local traders.
Revealing their vision, Nicola explained: “Our shop began as a community arts space and café for all and we have continuously tried to champion charity, student, music events and art exhibits, but as our overheads have increased rapidly we have been forced to use every centimetre of shop floor we have for retail, in order to try and keep going.
“This is why we are so excited to open our community events to all and advertise independent creatives on our new website.”
A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to help support the the fairs.
If you would like to donate, click here.