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Blackpool firm’s 30 years of retail trend setting

Town centre and bid manager Eileen Ormand (right) presents the award for the best dressed window in Blackpool town centre, to staff at Blueberries (Topping Street). From left, Alice Boldy, James Bannister, Stacey Booker and Dan Gorman.

Town centre and bid manager Eileen Ormand (right) presents the award for the best dressed window in Blackpool town centre, to staff at Blueberries (Topping Street). From left, Alice Boldy, James Bannister, Stacey Booker and Dan Gorman.

A Blackpool family-run, high street retailer is celebrating 30 years in business.

Blueberries of Talbot Street has defied burglars and the recession and embraced the on line sales trend to remain a successful and independent force in the resort.

The business was founded by Joan Kershaw and her daughter Sarah McConville who began designing and making their own clothing with their special Blueberries label inside.

The shirts sold so well they added top range designer clothing to their range and moved into women’s wear, shoes and accessories too.

The business has been at four different shops as it grew and now has a strong online presence which accounts for almost 50 per cent of trade.

Sarah said: “When we first started out in 1984 mum and I were making all our own clothing – hand beading and such –and selling it in our shop. We were asked by men to do shirts too. Then we were burgled and we lost everything so we continued to make things but had to buy in designer ranges.

“We were in Grosvenor Street but later moved to Cedar Square. As the premises was bigger we had to buy in more collections to fill it and the business grew. We then moved to Church Street and then on to Topping Street where we have been for over 10 years.

“It has three floors and so there’s plenty of space for everything we want to do.

“The online business is key for attracting business world wide and informing our local customers what we have in store.

“We have many people who shop via click and collect but many check online to see the new ranges before coming in store for the hands-on approach. It is definitely going to be a big part of our future and we have recently invested in a new website.”

Sarah was speaking from London where she was on the buying expedition for next year’s spring and summer ranges.

“I have been at Paul Smith’s earlier and am looking at Vivienne Westwood next. We have had Paul Smith collections for over 20 years now and we have got three generations of customers who have been buying designer wear of that calibre right here in Blackpool town centre.”

 

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