A South Jersey institution in bridal gowns, prom gowns, and special occasion dresses has gone away for good, and I'm heartbroken.

Jay West, located at the corner of Kings Highway and Haddon Ave. in Haddonfield is no longer in business.

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Google Maps
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The shock settled into me this past weekend during a long overdue stroll around Downtown Haddonfield. Other than stopping at Saxby's for coffee now and again, it had been YEARS since I'd shopped around town, so I guess that's why when it came to Jay West closing its door, I was out of the loop.

My mom and I were putzing along on Kings Highway when we approached Jay West excited to gaze at its windows which always had the most gorgeous displays of dreamy wedding dresses and glitzy prom gowns. What we found instead was a sign that read 'Retirement Sale! Closing after 54 years!'

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TSM South Jersey
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But not even CLOSING, CLOSED, past tense. The store was empty. Totally liquidated. It's for sale/lease.

Why was this devastating to me? It's because Jay West was the first place I ever shopped for a formal occasion dress. It's wear I got a lovely red taffeta, off the shoulder frock for my Sophomore Cotillion at Paul VI High School. Whenever I see photos from that night I still approve of that dress, even though, ya know, the 90s, lol.

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It's also just really sad to see another iconic local business end its run.

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Google Maps
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When it came time to shop for that dress, my mom, my aunt, my cousin ALL agreed there was only one place to go, and that was Jay West. So, I guess it was a bittersweet thing to know there will be no future generation of promgoers or bridal parties creating their own memories there. Sad to see it go.

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