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Long Sutton family-run stores merge under one roof

Elaine Tunnard at Shiela Tillers shop Long Sutton
Elaine Tunnard at Shiela Tillers shop Long Sutton

Long Sutton business Sheila Tiller Fashions is celebrating its 40th anniversary by bringing its clothes and shoes outlets together under one roof.

There’s been a big refurbishment at the spacious fashions shop at 13 Market Place and the shoe shop, headed by Sheila Tiller and assistant Yvonne Shooter, has moved in, which means 7 Market Place will be rented out.

Sheila’s daughter, Elaine Tunnard, runs the fashions and says the celebration merger has been on the cards for a couple of years.

Elaine said: “Some of the decision was made easy for us by the (business) rates increase in Long Sutton – the 92 per cent rates increase made it an easy decision.

“Basically it’s in celebration because we are 40 years old this year. We have had a new shop front put in, all new lighting installed, we have brought our shoe shop – which was at 7 Market Place – into the fashions at number 13, so shoes, underwear and fashions are all under one roof.”

The step means the business has turned full circle.

Elaine said: “It’s lovely, it’s how we started. Forty years ago we started out as one shop. We had five shops at one point.

“In our fortieth year we are all back together under one roof.

“This shop is a big enough shop and it’s exciting.”

The refurbishment has taken a couple of months and, although the shop front is new, it is identical to the one it replaced because the fashions outlet sits in the conservation area.

Professional contractors carried out almost all of the work but Elaine’s dad, Mick Tiller (82), helped prove it’s a real family business by joining Elaine to install the new racking for the shoes.

Customers will still enjoy seeing Elaine, Sheila and Yvonne and fashions staff Lisa Burton, Melissa Ratcliffe and Angie Atkin.

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