Store faces final curtain

Exterior of Sopers on Wood Street, St Annes.
Exterior of Sopers on Wood Street, St Annes.

A business with roots in St Annes dating back almost a century is shutting up shop.

The Soper’s Bespoke curtains and homeware shop in Wood Street has been put up for sale with an asking price of £995,000 - and the family behind the long-established business are confident of a quick sale.

The prominent shop, at the corner of Wood Street and St Andrew’s Road South, is being offered with vacant possession rather than as a going concern - but Soper’s boss Marilyn Soper stresses the decision to sell is a personal one than a result of any slump in trade.

As proudly proclaimed on the shop frontage, the business dates back to 1922. Former employee Ronald Soper took it over after the Second World War and gave it its current name.

Under his son Chris, it expanded extensively in the 1970s to include manufacturing and distribution bases in east Lancashire and Cumbria which employ hundreds and continue to thrive.

But since Chris’ death from cancer two years ago, his daughter Jessica, who previously managed the St Annes shop, has been having to devote more time to the other aspects of the business and Marilyn feels it is time to sever the St Annes roots.

She said: “It was a very difficult decision to make and we are so sad to be closing in St Annes - but the time is right. For sentimental reasons, though, it was a tough decision to make and we are sorry to be leaving St Annes behind.”

Arnold Sumner, of St Annes’ Chamber of Trade, said it was the ‘end of an era.’