Raid-hit gems store to close

chique on clifton street, lytham, is set to shut.
chique on clifton street, lytham, is set to shut.
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A LEADING Fylde coast jewellers is set to close – just months after opening.

Chique, on Clifton Street, Lytham, was launched in May by owner Michael Hyman following the closure of his Leonard Dews-branded jewellery store in the town.

Mr Hyman opened Chique as a “less exclusive” jewellers after a spate of robberies at the former Leonard Dews shop, where there were four armed raids in five years.

In a terrifying attack in September 2011, masked robbers broke through the front door and escaped with half a million pounds of diamonds and watches.

Now, a series of posters advertising a closing down sale have been put in the windows of the shop, with the store set to shut soon.

Robert Silverwood, vice chairman of the Lytham Enterprise Partnership, felt “market forces” were to blame.

He added: “It’s a hard one. Chique was clearly upmarket and targeting business in the area, but I just think market forces are behind the closure.

“There is a fairly small catchment area across the town, as well as many rival competitors who sell similar products, including one store which has had a revamp recently.

“These are all factors which have no doubt had an impact.”

Customer Maureen Hough, of Links Gate, St Annes, said: “My family and I have been shopping at Leonard Dews and Chique for many years and it has always been a very pleasurable experience. I am so sad to see it closing down. I feel so sorry for the staff there, who have always been so helpful.”

Mr Hyman took the decision to close Leonard Dews in November 2011, fearing for the safety of staff and other people in Lytham if the raids continued. In total, almost £1m of jewellery was taken in the four raids.

He was unavailable for comment about the closure of Chique,

Speaking about the closure of Leonard Dews at the time, ahead of the launch of Chique, Mr Hyman said: “We will not be under the name of Leonard Dews because it’s the name which is attracting the attention.

“A new name, look and style will lower the threat. We will have more costume jewellery and more cutting-edge type of things. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

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