Sex shop closes doors
PUBLISHED: 13:33 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 24 August 2010
by Nadia Sam-Daliri A sex book shop is closing down due to the high costs of provocative advertising and a drop in interest from the community. Soho Original Bookshop has held its spot in Kilburn High Road, for four years but blames plumm
by Nadia Sam-Daliri
A sex book shop is closing down due to the high costs of provocative advertising and a drop in interest from the community.
Soho Original Bookshop has held its spot in Kilburn High Road, for four years but blames plummeting sales partly on not being allowed to showcase raunchy material or neon lights in the main shop window for so long.
Brent Council bosses decided at a hearing in 2004 that the busy road's window must be kept tame, with saucier material placed in the side street entrance of the High Road's raunchier neighbour, Burton Road.
The rules have since become laxer but custom was still not enough.
Antony Alghabban, the store's general manager, said: "Restrictions on the signs definitely made bringing in customers harder. If you can't tell people on the street what your business is then that's not going to get them in.
"I don't think people in Kilburn are particularly against these sorts of shops, it's just the licensing is so expensive."
Businesses selling sexually explicit material are required by law to pay a £9,000 levy for their Sex Establishment License.
Lesley Clyne, 58, of Priory Park Road, Kilburn, said: "I remember seeing shops like that in Soho when I was little but not in Kilburn. If people want that they can easily get the bus to Soho."
But some Kilburn residents have hit back at suggestions that they are prigs. One resident, who preferred to stay anonymous, of Brondesbury Villas, in Kilburn said: "Kilburn is a very sexy place. Just look around and you'll see that. There's the nudist bar, Soho Beach Club for one."
Councils can decide how they will tackle marketing in the adult industry and Brent bosses decided to keep the High Road sex-free at a licensing sub committee hearing in October 2004.
The shop's four staff will be relocated to other stores after the closure date in a couple of months' time.
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