A SHOP owner has revealed her heartbreak over the decision to close her town centre business after just eight months.

Barbara Cairns has announced ‘with a heavy heart’ that The Eco Shop in Barrow will be closing for the final time due to the ‘current financial climate’.

The Scott Street store, which is an environmentally-friendly and zero-waste business, was opened in Barrow Market by couple Brian and Barbara Cairns in September 2019 in a bid to give the people of Barrow more options for eco-friendly living

After expanding their stall, the Cairns continued to build a loyal client base - and decided to open up their own shop in October last year.

However, after just eight months of trade in the town centre, The Eco Shop will be shutting its doors following a closing-down sale over the next three weeks.

Mrs Cairns said she could see as little as two customers in an average working day, attributing the low footfall to negativity about the Barrow town centre and the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Owner of The Eco Shop at Barrow encourages community to shop local

She said: “There’s been so much negativity about Barrow recently which has really affected footfall.

“As well as fears about Covid, people are frightened to come into town. This has all had a knock-on effect over the last 12 to 18 months.

“People just see the high street and don’t think of the little streets where businesses are to trying to make a living.”

Mrs Cairns, who may return to the healthcare sector after a short break, said she has never taken a wage from the business, with every penny going back into the retailer.

“That’s the end now – it’s not financially viable for me to continue,” she said.

“If I was able to hang on a bit longer I might see a little rise in the run up to Christmas but then footfall might fall away again.

READ MORE: Customers flock to The Eco Shop in Scott Street, Barrow

“It’s such a struggle to keep a business open. I can’t say I haven’t tried.

“It’s a sad loss for me and the customers. Lots of people are gutted I am going.

“I can’t see us ever reopening at the moment. I have worked so hard and never taken a wage. Every single penny has gone straight back into the business.

“I’d like to thank my loyal customers especially those that have kept coming back and shown their support.”