Bcharmd, a jewellery firm based in Newcastle has shut its store to give an online-only offering.
Owner Stephanie Milburn has described how she was forced into the move due to a ‘struggling retail sector’.
According to a report from the Chronicle, the business has ramped up its digital offering and revamped its website over the last two years and while that side of the business has grown, footfall to the shop dropped dramatically.
Milburn said: “The city centre has become increasingly difficult to trade from over the last two years with less and less footfall and passing trade – that’s partly to do with parking issues and the state of the city centre itself, but mainly due to shoppers purchasing online which is completely understandable.”
She added: “Our little boutique fitted in beautifully inside the arcade and I spent so much time making it so, thinking about how it would sit in there. But it made no sense business wise to remain open any longer. It became apparent we were spending 80% of our time on 20% of our total business turnover.”
The Chronicle described how Bcharmd started as a market stall in Tynemouth and has grown to be sold in more than 500 department stores and boutiques worldwide.
However, due to the retail climate, Milburn has now launched a new online fashion store called Vita Grace, selling clothing and accessories as well as the full range of Bcharmd jewellery.