Local News

Salon owner feels Raleigh location is unsafe for employees, clients

Posted June 27, 2016

— In what may be considered a bold move for an established business, the owner of Jill’s Beach tanning salon is closing the original location in the Plaza West Shopping Center off Western Boulevard, saying she no longer feels the area is safe for her or her clients.

Jill Donovan opened the salon near the intersection of Western Boulevard and Jones Franklin Road 14 years ago. It was the first of four locations and Donovan said shutting the doors isn’t easy.

“It is tough. It was a tough decision but we feel like it’s the right decision,” she said. “We no longer feel it’s safe to conduct business there, for our employees, for our customers. It’s just time to move on.”

Ralph Brown owns a barber shop in the same shopping center. He said Donovan’s decision is out of sync with his experience in the area.

“The area here is nice and safe,” Brown said. “We have a nice clientele. All nationalities come into the barber shop, pretty much from Cary all the way to the city part of Raleigh. We have no issues.”

Raleigh police list more than 400 calls to the area in the last 12 months and most were routine and non-violent or technical in nature. However, officers responded to two disturbances near the tanning salon during the past week and several more serious calls, including assaults, break-ins and a sex offense, in the past year.

Donovan said Jill’s Beach has an all-female staff and a majority of their customers are women as well. She said the lack of lightning in the area is a safety concern and noted that the salon was robbed two years ago.

“We’ve had incidents before, there have been lots of incidents in the area, so it’s just time for us to lick our wounds and move on,” Donovan said.

Donovan, who grew up in the area, said looking over crime statistics shows how times have changed.

“It’s sad. I grew up in 27606 and I live on the other side of it now. It’s sad; it’s disappointing,” she said.

The three other Jill’s Beach locations will remain open.

The owner of the Plaza West Shopping Center said there have been no complaints from other tenants.


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  • Daniel Solomon Jun 28, 2016
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    Why is this news? Oh yeah, it's way to say the blacks in the area are too dangerous without actually saying it. Way to go WRAL!

  • Linda Levine Jun 28, 2016
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    I lived in that area. It is not an unsafe area. Based on the police reports, it doesn't sound like a logical conclusion to reach. I also suspect that it is more of an excuse to close a poor performing location than an explanation for the closure. They may be worried that the employees and customers will think the whole business is on the way out. Many of these places sell gift certificates and that fear can drive away a lot of business.

  • Kris Dawn Jun 28, 2016
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    Yeah, what in the world? This place has never been un-safe. Jill must have not been doing a good business.

    Girl bye.