Wakefield's Private Shop closes its doors after 40 years in business

The Private Shop, on Doncaster Road, has closed its doors after more than 40 years in business. Picture: Google Maps.
The Private Shop, on Doncaster Road, has closed its doors after more than 40 years in business. Picture: Google Maps.

Wakefield’s only private shop has closed its doors after more than 40 years in business.

The shop, on Doncaster Road, Belle Vue, provided adult entertainment, including DVDs, but has suffered in recent years as entertainment has moved online.

The Private Shop, pictured in 2006, has suffered as adult entertainment moved online.

The Private Shop, pictured in 2006, has suffered as adult entertainment moved online.

Richard, the shop’s only employee, has worked at the branch since 2007.

He said: “We’ve been trading in Wakefield for 41 years, according to one of my customers.

“It’s like the end of an era, it’s going to change Doncaster Road.

“I’ll be sad to see the shop go, because I think it has the potential to be a sex shop still. You just need the right stock in place.

“It’s just loss of customers really, to the internet. Because we get a lot of people coming in asking you to match the prices. We do get a lot of people saying it’s sad it’s closing because they don’t like using computers.”

Richard said that the store’s customer base had always been primarily male, but an unusual tactic had helped draw in a wider range of customers.

“Not long ago we changed the shop to purple,” he said. “That’s drawn more women into the shop. It looked grotty, it looked derelict, it looked like it was falling down.

“They showed me the purple and I said I want that. It has drawn more women and more couples in. That’s the image of private shops in the UK. They want to be more couple orientated.”

The Private Shop chain runs more than 50 stores across the country, with branches in Hull, Birmingham and Manchester.

Richard, who has worked at several branches of the Private Shop, said he will miss his job.

“I’ll miss the store, I’ll miss the customers, I’ll miss the wonderful, weird people that come in. I do like talking to people.

“There’s a big stigma about it. Some people go red, but some people ask about it. Some stay quiet and go bright red and you know they know what I’m talking about.

“Some have a laugh, but others get angry and say it’s disgusting. But you do get used to it.

“Overall as a company to work for it’s good. What makes it is the days are never the same. People say ‘I don’t want to say because I’m embarrassed’, but I’ve seen it all before.”

The Private Shop closed on Friday, June 14.