Lebeado reopens – for now

Lebeado, the bead emporium that announced the closure of its Acorn Road store in July has decided to reopen at the end of this month.

High rates, disappointing sales and better opportunities in London were among the reasons co-founder Kate Watkin explained the move in the summer. But difficulties in finding another retailer to take on the remainder of its five-year lease means Lebeado will be opening its doors again on October 30th – until after Christmas at least.

“The run-up to Christmas has always been a very busy time for us on Acorn Road, and then we’ll review things to see if there’s enough interest for us to continue after that,” explained manager Debs Lithgo to JesmondLocal. “Another challenge retailers in Jesmond face is how to survive university holiday times when the students go home. We’ve been trying to appeal to a wider range of residents in Jesmond through activities like children’s parties and building links with some of the schools.”

According to Lithgo, several cafe and snack bars, including Greggs, expressed an interest in taking over the Acorn Road lease, but the lack of toilet facilities for customers has proved a stumbling block.

Lebeado opened the Jesmond store in 2008 following a successful first year of trading at its first shop in Durham. This summer Watkin and her mother and business partner Jill Watkin opened a store inside the new Westfield Shopping Centre in London’s Shepherd’s Bush.