It’s a name that every Islander knows as it has been a staple of the High Street for some 60 years, but the owners of Ladies Realm have announced that their remaining stores in Ryde and Sandown are to permanently close later this year.
Ladies Realm was originally founded in Worcestershire by Eric and Pam Stubbs back in 1954, but it was a day trip to the Isle of Wight that prompted the Stubbs to expand the business. By April 1961, their first Island shop was opened in Sandown and the operation eventually transferred entirely to the Isle of Wight.
A branch was opened in Shanklin in the late 1960s and moved to a larger, corner site in 2000, but closed in February 2020 due to retirement. It was during the 1970s that 2 small shops were opened in Ryde, which were later sold to move to the larger, current premises at 3 & 4 High Street.
Back in Sandown, the Ladies Realm branch known as Bed, Body & Beach was opened in 2004 selling nightwear, lingerie and swimwear, as well as costume jewellery. This branch has since closed and the ranges moved into the main corner site, which was originally 2 buildings but underwent a large refurbishment in 1969.
The coronavirus pandemic has been blamed in part for the decision to close the last remaining stores, with the situation noticeably accelerating online shopping habits. It’s said that the pandemic created problems in the supply and delivery of the fashions on offer too.
Ladies Realm Ryde will close at 16:00 on Saturday 30th October, with Ladies Realm Sandown closing at 16:00 on Saturday 6th November.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the business has said:
“It is with much regret that we must inform you of the permanent closure of our Ladies Realm shops in Ryde and Sandown by the end of the year.
“We would like to thank our loyal customers for supporting our shops over the last 60 years, through good times and hard. Our thanks and appreciation must also be voiced for the members of staff that have worked in our 6 shops, many who stayed over 20 years (and a few over 30 years!)”.
Gift vouchers and outstanding credit notes must be used to purchase goods before closing on 30th October 2021. Rewards and loyalty cards will continue to collect points until 17:00 on Saturday 18th September, but loyalty points can be used in payment until 16:00 on Saturday 30th October 2021.