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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Carlisle Jaeger store closes doors after 25 years

It was a time for celebration not remorse, as Carlisle said goodbye to its Jaeger store.

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Shutting down: The Jaeger shop in Carlisle city centre closed its doors for the last time at the weekend

The company has had a shop in the city for 25 years, but announced in January that poor sales meant it was forced to close the branch.

The news was met with horror and sadness from residents, and was followed by the news that Benetton, Hoopers and jewellers Goldsmiths were all vacating Carlisle.

Despite the fears for the future of the city centre, Jaeger manager Lorraine Robins said the final day’s trading on Saturday had a celebratory air to it.

Mrs Robins, who has worked at the Greenmarket store for 21-and-a-half years, provided drinks and nibbles for the customers. She said: “I put on a bit of a party to say thank you very much to the customers.

“Our customers have been very upset, partly because the store is closing but more because we have built up a rapport and become friends as well.”

It is testament to the women who work in the shop – and to Jaeger as their employer – that there is no bitterness associated with the end of an era.

Mrs Robins said the real sadness comes from saying goodbye to colleagues.

She added: “We have had no staff turnover for 13 years, so we are all very close-knit. We will stay in touch, but it will be difficult not seeing each other every day as we have done for more than a decade.”

Thanks to the company’s early announcement of its intention to close the Carlisle store, the women have had six months to plan their futures.

“We all move on next week with new ventures,” Mrs Robins continued. “One of the girls is going to Genevieve, another has a seat on the council, one girl is going to be a lady of leisure and I’ve started my own cleaning business.”

The manager said she had had enough of retail and management, and because she “always liked cleaning”, decided to give her new business venture a go.

Mrs Robins said loyal customers from Jaeger are already helping it start with a bang, saying: “I already have 10 clients, and they are all my customers from the shop.”

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