End of an Elm Park era as popular retailer closes after 38 years

Elm Park fashion shop closing

L-R: Julie Wilkes, Cllr Stephanie Nunn, Mrs Naseem Beg, Cllr Barry Mugglestone and Cllr Gerry O’Sullivan. - Credit: Stephanie Nunn

Young Fashions is set to close after 38 years of serving the Elm Park community.

The shop - owned by Naseem Beg - will officially close its doors this Saturday after selling off the last of its stock, giving people one last chance to nab their school uniforms.

Elm Park councillors Stephanie Nunn and Barry Mugglestone, together with Cllr Gerry O'Sullivan (Saint Andrews) and resident Julie Wilkes, were invited for tea and samosas on Saturday (August 28).

The quartet presented Naseem with flowers on behalf of the Hornchurch Residents’ Association (HXRA) as a token of gratitude to a retailer which has been serving the Elm Park community for almost four decades.

Also in attendance was John Kohter of Hans Electric, the shop which originally occupied the space that Naseem's business has called home for 38 years. 

Other local businesses, including Elm Park Cobblers, Fat Pizza, A&J Fashion Jewellery and The Carpet Gallery, came along to give their best wishes.

Elm Park shop closing

L-R: Ahmer Beg, Khurrum Beg, Mr John Kohter of Hans Electric, Naseem Beg and John's partner. - Credit: Khurrum Beg

The retiring shop owner - back in good health after catching Covid-19 earlier this year - was also joined by sons Ahmer and Khurrum for the occasion.

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She told the Recorder: “It’s a mixed feeling, because I’ve been here for so long – since 1983. I’m happy to have opened and closed the shop on my own terms.

“Because I sold ladieswear, childrenswear and school uniforms, I got to interact with a mixture of different customers which I really enjoyed. 

"I’ve seen multiple generations of people buying uniforms for their children.

“What I think I’ll miss most is dealing with the different kinds of customers, from all disciplines of life."

As for what's next, Naseem is excited for a "well-earned rest".

Speaking on behalf of the HXRA, Cllr Nunn said: "Anyone walking past Young Fashions always got a friendly smile from Mrs Beg as she sat in the doorway.

"She always joined in the Christmas event organised by Elm Park Regeneration, giving out samosas and making sure the grandchildren dressed up for whatever theme was chosen.

"We wish her well in her long-deserved retirement and look forward to seeing her out shopping as she lives locally with her family."