Sad times - Summersault and World of Difference closing soon

The next two Saturdays will mark the end of an era for two pioneering stores in Rugby's High Street.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 8:47 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 9:49 am
Eileen and Mike Jeffs have announced a closing date for Summersault. NNL-160726-155742001

Fair Trade champions World of Difference announced in February it would be leaving in the summer and this Saturday, July 30 will be its last day.

And then across the road, Summersault, having previously revealed its building was on the market, has decided to close on Saturday, August 6.

While that’s it for World of Difference, Mike and Eileen Jeffs at Summersault have yet to find a buyer for their remarkable building – believed to be one of only three surviving original Boots buildings in the country – and hope away from the front line they will be able to find the right person to take it on.

When the sale of the property was reported in the Advertiser earlier this year the couple told how they were looking forward to new challenges after 27 years and that Summersault would finish when they finished, leaving a new owner to start a new era.

So that point is almost upon us, although in a newsletter to email subscribers they admitted there could yet be another chapter of their story to be written.

They said: “We hope that during our closure we will find someone to take on this unique and outstanding building.

“We can’t guarantee that there will not be some kind of 80s rock band-style comeback. We will still have to pay the rates, mortgage and the insurance and other expenses on the building while it stays empty and so there is a limit to how long we can hold out before we have to come back ourselves.”

But in seeing hope for Rugby town centre’s future being based on ‘leisure and beauty’ they hope somebody will seize the opportunity so they can catch up with family, discover what it means to have a Saturday off and catch up on long-lost hobbies and DIY.

Mike told the Advertiser: “It’s remarkable how many customers we have who have been coming here for 27 years for their coffee, cake and lunches.”

And if you want one more chance to pick the salads to go with your lunch, to choose one of the unique Summersault scones or to just chill out in the remarkable surroundings, August 6 could well be your last chance.

World of Difference opened in 1981 in Sheep Street, originally intended to only run for a month but stayed there until 1986 before moving to its current shop at 20 High Street.

Joint owner Steve Beverley said: “Bringing the concept of Fair Trade to Rugby, something that was little known at the time, the shop sourced fairly traded goods from Africa, India and South America.”

With support of many volunteers across the years, they reckon to have had sales of £2.3 million since opening, with products priced to support the producers and help reduce poverty.

But as Fair Trade has become more commonplace, so the demand for dedicated shops like World of Difference has declined so the decision was taken earlier this year to close. Any proceeds will go to a Traidcraft project helping poor women working in Bangladesh’s jute sector.