Men’s outfitters closing after 64 years

Kevin Draper and Jean Draper are closing the George Ripley store in Lytham
Kevin Draper and Jean Draper are closing the George Ripley store in Lytham
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A shop which has been a feature of Lytham town centre for more than six decades is to close.

George Ripley menswear, which has been on Clifton Street since 1952 and has remained a family business ever since, is to shut its doors for the last time on the retirement of Keith Ripley, 70, and Jean Draper, 65, son and daughter of the founder who gave his name to the shop.

Three long-serving members of staff are also set to retire, but the family roots of the traditional men’s outfitting business are to continue nearby, as Kevin Draper, George’s grandson who has worked in the shop for more than 10 years, is set to open a shop of his own offering a similar service.

“It will be very sad to see the closure of this shop – it has been a tough decision but with it being time for my mum and uncle to retire, we felt it was the right time,” said Kevin.

“I intend to open a similar business elsewhere in town but in smaller premises.

“We haven’t set an exact date for the closure yet – it is a case of seeing how quickly we can sell off the stock – but our many regular customers are aware and they have been sad to hear the news.

“We are grateful for their support over so many years.”

Denize Ashton, chairman of the Lytham Business Partnership, said: “Its always sad when businesses close, especially George Ripley’s, which has outfitted gentlemen of the Fylde Coast, and their sons, for over 60 years.

“As with every business, it’s about the people behind it, so many thanks to them and their employees over the years.

“Lytham is lucky to have a great mix of independent traditional and contemporary retail establishments and is evolving over time, as high streets must.

“But in this instance it really is the end of an era. Good Luck to them.”