Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Primark set to expand as upmarket fashion chain Gap plans to close store in Ipswich town centre

11:01 12 January 2015

The Gap and Primark stores in Westgate Street, Ipswich.

The Gap and Primark stores in Westgate Street, Ipswich.

Speculation is mounting that up-market fashion chain Gap is about to announce the closure of its Ipswich town centre store.

However there may not be a void on Westgate Street for long – budget clothing chain Primark is expected to take over the neighbouring store.

Members of staff at Gap told customers at the weekend that their store is due to close at the end of the month – an official announcement is expected within the next few days.

Primark is next to Gap on the street, and there are hopes that an enlarged store could be a major attraction for the town centre.

The budget clothing retailer has recently started rolling out a new style of store in its larger locations – and town centre bosses hope that might come to Ipswich.

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “If the changes are confirmed my feeling is that it is a great shame that Gap should close its store.

“However if Primark expand and convert a larger store into its new retailing format that could turn into a real shot in the arm for Ipswich town centre.”

Why are so few people shopping in Ipswich town centre? More here

36 comments

  • Chantry - 2 points. Firstly if you, like me are not a retail outlet or commercial business that is paying a levy towards Ipswich Central. Then it's not up to us to say whether we need them or not. It's up to the businesses NOT the general public and they have voted for them - democratic right? Secondly you're spot on about politicians. Start calling them to account. It HAS to be about what's right for our town NOT what's right for their political party or personal progression. Who is the portfolio holder for economic development in Ipswich - why haven't we heard from them and what are THEY doing to try and improve our town. You've also got a leader of the council who wishes to stand for election as MP for the town in the May general election. Presumably not standing on the basis of the success of revitalising the town centre whilst heading he council!?

    Report this comment

    Ipswichandproud

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

  • I remember the election manifesto,s that dropped on our doorsteps in the 1970,s & 1980,s. Nothing much has improved for the town centre. It seems the average politician today just keeps their head down when elected and waits for promotion within their party when not elected. I don,t see anyone doing much to promote our town and represent its people and their opinions. We don,t need "Ipswich Central" to represent shopkeepers, we need an organization to represent the people of Ipswich. If the Council can just go ahead and make multi-million pound investments behind closed doors then something is fundamentally and morally wrong.

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Poppy's Dad - You're entitled with your opinion regarding IBC's ED...it doesn't remove the fact that 'responsibility' lies primarily at their door. Other individuals and organisations can and will try to play their part no doubt but I'm struggling to see any comment in the media or elsewhere as to what IBC and their economic development portfolio holder is 'actively' doing to attract new business to the town centre? Very sorry but diverting town centre regeneration funds to Broonhill is completely flawed. However well meaning supporters of that campaign might be.

    Report this comment

    Ipswichandproud

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

  • Economic Development at IBC is hardly where those who know anything about it would choose to establish themselves in full time employment . You cannot change the population of the town so they are on a loser right from the off . Spend millions and millions of tax payers money for what ? The benefit of MR Tesco or Mr Sainsburys or Mrs Debenhams ? I don't think so , when Broomhill is crying out for funding which would be a vastly better home for the millions them seem to find for all these other stupid ideas.

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

  • I think some on here need to get their facts right. Economic development is the responsibility of the ED team at IBC. Ipswich Central is an organisation that speaks on behalf of over 600 town centre businesses who have voted for them to do so and to help market, promote and lobby for improvements to the town. Simple really

    Report this comment

    Ipswichandproud

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

  • Someone needs to tell "Coes" that they're not part of the town centre according to Ipswich Entrepreneur ...the only half decent shop there !

    Report this comment

    Postman_Pat

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

  • If M&S or Debenhams ever look closely at their stores like Tesco are doing they will shut both their shops in Ipswich . What can be done to get them to stay ? Thats what MR Clement and his cronies ought to be doing , so far he has made no difference to the town and should be removed from his position which is vastly overpaid too.

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

  • Norwich Road is not town centre and as far as I am aware there is no internet cafe down there. There is an European food shop and off licence in St Matthews Street that gives internet access... but its not a cafe, and therefore not an internet cafe. In the same way the County Library is not a internet cafe just because it provides public access to the internet and has a hot drink machine. Not being pedantic. Just the facts. Then there are people commenting like Ted, with a GAP in between his ears... I never criticised Gap and neither did I welcome a shop closing down... I think Primark taking up what would be a rather big empty retail unit solely a good thing. Especially when major department stores like M&S and Debenhams are not sure about committing to Ipswich longer term. No one will fill the boots of these two department stores, they will remain commercially-empty for decades. No one is likely to ever permanently move into the co-op at the other end of the town. There are other examples from Cornhill outwards to the traditional extremes of the town.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

  • Another upper-lower-middle class store bites Ipswich’s ‘Golden Mile’ dust, to be replaced with an extension to a neighbouring store that serves customers who behave like every day is Black Friday. Long gone from the town centre are the stores of any true quality, along with its patrons, certain never to return. All that’s left are clothes shops selling XXXXL plus sizes to the town’s scootably mobile and its unfortunate progeny, fly-by-night stores peddling tat for a £1 or less, fast and frozen food chains pushing beige food to the lazy and nutritionally uneducated, mobile phone stores feeding high tariff contracts to those low class enough to consider it aspirational, betting shops advertising odds that should only ever appeal to the innumerate, and coffee bars that from the outside at least appears to cater almost exclusively to a loud chain-smoking-caffeine-addicted underclass. And if you think this sounds unnecessarily cynical, read it again in 18 months – it’ll appear I was being wildly optimistic, because it’s not just the town centre that’s in terminal decline, the whole town is, and it has been for longer than most of its inhabitants will appreciate.

    Report this comment

    Usually Optimistic

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

  • Peter Turtill - I hope people who "think" like you never have power over this town. What a ridiculous comment to make "Buses should be kept out of town to alleviate congestion." .... The people who are using those buses aren't driving into town - its cars that cause congestion not buses! ....give me strength...

    Report this comment

    A Palmer

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

  • "Speculation is mounting...". I went into the TC on Monday and there was a big sign in Gap's window to say they are closing down; do the reporters of our esteemed local papers ever get out? I note that Gap will remain open in Colchester and it seems that most towns surrounding Ipswich can maintain stores that simply cannot function in Ipswich. The reason must partially be the socio-economic profile of the town but I think the traffic situation must also be contributory; so many long waits at traffic lights for drivers when nothing is coming! On a 1.5 mile journey into the TC I see many places where ripping out the traffic lights for simple line-marked junctions or mini roundabouts would improve traffic flow considerably BUT the opposite seems to be happening. And one final point: our local newspapers often print stories about the scruffy TC and market area but I was disgusted today to see the state of the 'shack' used by those same papers and located in a prime spot at the Cornhill. It needs painting or replacing; at the moment that 'shack' reflects the quality of the newspapers themselves so perhaps a drive for improvement could start there.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Caldene, what is needed is for the roads to be opened to through traffic to ease the total gridlock we suffer in Ipswich during the day. All the pedestrianisation that can be used for through traffic should be returned to motor traffic and pedestrians should use the pavement. There is no sense holding onto the silly dream of a town centre for shopping and walkers and I am afraid the retail aspect of Ipswich TC is dead because of these silly dreams. There are plenty of shops on the estates around Ipswich and of course the future which is online. Buses should be kept out of town to alleviate congestion. Retail shops and offices in the TC should be converted to residential. One day the planners will have to accept Ipswich TC and the river are not places to play around with. They are major routes through Ipswich and have always been major highways and now the TC has been ruined it is time to stop all these airy fairy ideas.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Surely the story is GAP is leaving? There is no comment by Primark other than speculation on behalf of another.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • I can go in Clarks and buy my everyday shoes for £20-£40 a pair. Or get several pairs at Primark £4-6 each and rotate use. They last me years. Nice news they may be expanding not surprised the usual moaners and moaning. Ipswich TC has problems but some are never satisfied. PS sorry to say I rather agree with thankgodileft's assessment of the typical Primark customer shopping there is an experience at times!

    Report this comment

    K Mcc

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • A bigger Primark , what an attraction for the town !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Primark is next to Gap on the street? No Next is much further up. :)

    Report this comment

    Ian P

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Caldene Mothercare hasnt completely gone, its 10 mins up the road at copdock in a bigger premises

    Report this comment

    daniel ......

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • What the town centre really needs are far more betting shops, pawn brokers, mobile phone stores and major chain coffee bars. That Gap shop, apparently, use to be a Mother Care store about ten years ago. They too have completely disappeared. Like so many other towns and cities within the UK most people, including myself, do most of their shopping online nowadays. As a consequence of this the traditional 'high street' town centre shopping areas are slowly disappearing, for they are unable to compete with both the convenience and the price of internet shopping. Like it or not, it is a simple matter of economic market forces both changing and dictating the town centre environment.

    Report this comment

    Caldene Boy

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • PC Plod, spot on, I shop there for my son's clothes. I don't want to spend a lot but I want clothes that fit him and as he grows up fast, they don't have to last a long time so I don't care if he falls in poo and I end up just binning them after 1 wear. It's not the best quality stuff but it's good value for money. Many people at the moment can't afford to spend more. This is the sign of the times. You other people shouldn't be mocking the majority!

    Report this comment

    Fill-a-stein

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • If you don't come back to live in Ipswich, what a nicer place it will be then

    Report this comment

    Bungay

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Set to go ahead? It's just speculation. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry Christmas.

    Report this comment

    Robert Ward

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • I bought a pair of shoes which cost me £99 opposite Primarks about a year ago , I've used them about six time's if that ,, bought T- shirts from Primark's and use them every day , learned my lesson ,, ( Fool & his money are easily parted

    Report this comment

    Roadrunner

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Oh my, people arguing and moaning over a store closing down, let me go make another cup of tea, this is very entertaining....

    Report this comment

    Francis S

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Postman Pat , Think you need a Foreign passport to venture up Norwich Rd ,?

    Report this comment

    Roadrunner

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Oh well, I suppose Norwich City fans will be pleased to hear that Ipswich's GAP is closing!!

    Report this comment

    Footyfan

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Plod, If you are trying to be facetious, you're not very good. Mcdonalds over Milsoms? One is reasonably priced Junk, the other is overpriced junk. The funny thing is, you don't even realise you are getting mugged everytime you go there, thinking it is excellent food for the price, they are laughing at you all the way to the bank, having just charged you £14.50 for a burger!

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • When I was a lad my dear old mum used to buy me clothes I could "grow into" (they'd have looked a bit loose on Giant Haystacks to be honest) and a good quality coat was expected to last you ten years. Things have changed. The younger Plods quite like Primark as they can get reasonably priced clothes which they can wear a couple of times and then forget about. It may be rubbish but it's cheap and they like it. Mind you, they'd rather go to McDonalds than Milsoms.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • thankgodileft and RC - What a pair of obnoxious human beings you are....I don't shop in Primark but in any case your comments are offensive and in the case of thankgodileft please don't ever come "home" as our town can do without your type of ignorance

    Report this comment

    ufssales

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • RC i dont entirely disagree with your point but firstly how do you know they are single? and secondly 4 different colours?????? like one orange? one green? one lilac, on red?

    Report this comment

    daniel ......

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Not surprised GAP lost its USP when people stopped wearing cargo trousers in 2001, Surprised it has lasted this long TBH. On another note, people like IpswichEnt have probably never set foot in a GAP store, let alone know what the y sell, but it's great for them to have another moan about a shop closing down. Even online retailers are struggling, BANK Fashion only last week called in the Administrators, if they struggle its no wonder high street stores struggle.

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • In all seriousness, Gap is rubbish and has been rubbish for many years. Overpriced and never-changing styles and designs. If Primark wasn't so untidy and full of loud and shrieky unmarried mothers with giant prams, I'd actually venture in from time to time as I like their PJs!

    Report this comment

    thankgodileft

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • There's an internet cafe on Norwich Road....

    Report this comment

    Postman_Pat

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Hahahaha! Oh, Ipswich. Ipswich, Ipswich, Ipswich :') It never gets any better, does it? And people wonder why when I eventually come back to the UK I won't be returning to live in my hometown.

    Report this comment

    thankgodileft

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • RE; A WEST...Tacky stuff? I'm guessing you've never set foot into Primark then? In recent years Primark has gone from strength to strength with its new ranges which are affordable and fashionable rather than spending higher prices for a name tag or an emblem on your clothes. I suggest you get off your pc warrior chair and go take a look.

    Report this comment

    I'm right,your not!!

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • Internet cafes? Where?! As for Primark expanding, its only good for the town appealing to Bury St Eds, Felixstowe and Colchester shoppers instead of going to the Norwich, Chelmsford and Cambridge stores. Yeah... they have their work cut out for them...

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, January 12, 2015

  • What more would one expect from a clothing shop trying to hold on to a business model of fashion clothing when in Ipswich town centre. Only tacky stuff will ever make the grade in the town centre. If the 2 other large department stores also in westgate st ever move or close then what would be left pound, 99p, polish shops, self service out of the tub shops, internet cafes, money transfer shop and our police running around trying to keep evil things of our street. Welcome to ipswich 2015 What a 5 star dump.

    Report this comment

    a west

    Monday, January 12, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

600 primary school children are attending a science fair at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Pictured with flame is Head of Chemistry Andy Cameron.

This week our headlines were dominated by the EU referendum, with campaigners from the Remain camp hitting the streets of Bury St Edmunds before the vote on Thursday.

Shadow foreign sec Hilary Benn with Emma Reynolds and MEP Richard Hewitt on the Labour In Battle Bus meeting the public in Ipswich town centre.

Half of Labour’s shadow cabinet are reported to have resigned today in the fallout after the referendum result.

Action from the Felixstowe & Walton United v Bury Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup. Photo: Steve Waller

A football club’s dream of a new clubhouse and changing rooms fit for the 21st Century has moved a step closer with the award of a £50,000 grant.

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

“What the hell is this? You call this a summer evening? Welcome to Cold-chester!”

Keith Senior is pictured at Jacobs Allen in Bury St Edmunds

Concerns have been raised about how Thursday’s decision to quit the EU will affect mortgage rates and foreign travel.

Aldeburgh beach

Global superstar Taylor Swift has been spotted strolling the streets of a Suffolk seaside town, after she flew into the country to meet her rumoured new love interest’s mother.

The Marquis of Cornwallis, pictured in 2006, which is near where the crash happened.

Emergency services are currently at the scene of a single vehicle crash near to the Marquis of Cornwallis pub in Layham.

Town pastors gather for their 10-year celebration conference at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath

Town pastors from across Suffolk gathered together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the project.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Ipswich isn’t blessed with beautiful bridges; civil engineers don’t come to town to marvel at the engineering prowess of Telford, Brunel or Stephenson, writes John Norman, of The Ipswich Society.

The White Hart pub in High Street, Saxmundham.

A public meeting has been called in Saxmundham to try to put together a £450,000-plus community bid to buy a closed down town centre pub.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24