Staff in plea to save historic Fylde store

Saviour hope: Rebecca Embelton (below), manager of JR Taylor in St Annes, has launched an impassioned plea help save the store after it entered administration last week
Saviour hope: Rebecca Embelton (below), manager of JR Taylor in St Annes, has launched an impassioned plea help save the store after it entered administration last week
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The manager of a historic department store has launched an impassioned plea to find a buyer after the business entered administration.

Rebecca Embelton, manager of JR Taylor in St Annes, led the call for help after the store entered administration a week ago.

Wise Up fashion shoot with Becky Embleton from JR Taylors in St Annes.  She is wearing an outfit by Sandwich.

Wise Up fashion shoot with Becky Embleton from JR Taylors in St Annes. She is wearing an outfit by Sandwich.

The 113-year-old store is threatened with closure and 60 staff faced with redundancy if no buyer can be found in the next month.

In a post on the company’s Facebook page, she said: “If we don’t find a buyer for the company, the store will close its doors in a matter of weeks.

“As the current store manager of JR Taylor in St Annes, I feel that we have nothing to lose to send out this social media message and ask our friends and family to spread the word about our story, in the hope that a buyer will be found.

“I can almost guarantee that anyone in the FY or PR postcodes, and beyond, will have had some form of contact with our store, whether you, your parents, or even grandparents have been customers, or perhaps you’ve even worked here before.

“We may have worked alongside your business, or sold your products.

“The store has been many things to many people.”

Staff at the Garden Street store were told of the news at a meeting on December 8.

No exact date has been put on when the store could close, but one worker who contacted The Gazette claimed staff had been informed it could be “two to three weeks”.

Miss Embelton added the closure of the store would be a “great shame and waste”.

She added: “Not only would this be a heartbreaking loss to the wonderful staff working here, driving it forward every day through the tough last few years, but for St Annes as a town.

“To have this beautiful building empty on your high street would be such a great shame and a waste.”

The manager said she hoped the post would be shared on social media, spreading the word about the store’s current plight.

The decision to enter administration by owners Howjow Investments Ltd was made after a “sustained period of difficult trading conditions,” with the Manchester office of Duff and Phelps appointed as administrator.

Matthew Bye, of JR Taylor, said: “We intend to remain trading for as long as possible with a view to achieving the best outcome for all concerned, in particular our staff. We will review the situation on a daily basis.

“Our focus now is on finding a buyer. If the business is to cease trading, the owners have confirmed their intention that redundancy payments will be met in full.”

Last week Fylde Council leader Coun Sue Fazackerley said the store’s closure would be a “massive blow to tourism and the economy,” admitting she felt “dreadfully sorry” for staff.