Couple delighted as new sex shop in Liverpool city centre approved

A sex shop that wants to bring “joy to people’s lives” will open in Liverpool city center after licensing plans are approved.

Scandals, which already has adult stores in Bootle and Birkenhead, has been granted a license to open a new store in the basement of the Bling Bling building on Hanover Street in central Liverpool.

At the forefront of the family-run business are young couple Kathryn Kershaw and Ben Hughes. They spoke ahead of the council’s licensing session meeting at Liverpool Town Hall today.

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The couple spoke enthusiastically about their ambition to do away with the old, lazy stereotypes of sex shops and adult stores and make it normal and public the idea of ​​people talking about sex and learning to enjoy their sexuality.

Katherine, 33, whose parents both started working at Scandals, told the meeting: “Once people cross the threshold into our stores, everyone acts mature and like adults in a relaxed, well-controlled environment.

“We’ve served people from 18 to 80, of all races, religions and genders, people feel respected when they come in – it’s not slow. People can discuss intimate issues with us and ask for advice and help, we’ve helped a lot of people.”

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Katherine and Ben said opening a shop in central Liverpool was the natural next step for their business. “We don’t want to be on the sidelines, and we’re not going to stay there, so a downtown location is the natural progression for us,” Katherine added.

The application was opposed by the Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) who occupy the adjacent unit on Hanover Street. In a letter to the local authority’s licensing committee, MYA chief executive Gail Bainbridge said the charity had been located on Hanover Street for the past 22 years and felt the adjacent basement was not “a suitable location for a sex shop”.

Ben and Katherine outside their Bootle Store

These concerns were raised at the meeting by Cllr Malcolm Kelly, but the couple gave assurances about how controlled the entrance to the new store would be – with entry only allowed through a bell system and a door with frosted glass.

It took only ten minutes for the licensing committee to decide whether to grant Scandals a license for their new project. The new Scandals store will be open between 9am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 6pm on Sundays and public holidays, and it is hoped to start welcoming customers in a few months.

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Speaking after the hearing, Katherine and Ben said: “We’re very excited about the open heart of Liverpool and we think this decision shows how open-hearted and accepting this city is. People will be really comfortable and respectful when they visit our new store.”

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