Burton and Dorothy Perkins to exit town centre - to make way for a new shoe shop
PUBLISHED: 05:30 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:39 14 November 2019
One of the best-known stores in Ipswich town centre is set to close its doors for the last time early in 2020, with shoe chain Deichmann due to move in to the vacated unit.
Burton and Dorothy Perkins in Tavern Street are expected to close after January sales because its landlord, Ipswich Borough Assets (IBA) is to trigger a break clause in its lease.
IBA bought the building from the Kent County Council pension fund in early 2018.
German-based shoe retailer Deichmann is due to take over the store and is expected to open in late summer after there has been some repairs and improvements to the building - including replacing escalators with a lift.
Chairman of Ipswich Council-owned IBA Colin Kreidewolf said the change was a "no-brainer" for the company because Arcadia, which owns the Burton and Dorothy Perkins brands, had secured a substantial rent reduction earlier this year when it entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors.
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Mr Kreidewolf said: "As part of the CVA there was a break clause inserted into the tenancy agreement at the same time as a substantial rent reduction and we have now decided to activate that.
"Deichmann were looking for a substantial shop in the town centre and we have agreed a long lease with them for a commercial rent which we are not getting from Arcadia after the CVA."
The CVA for Sir Philip Green's Arcadia group which also includes Top Shop, Top Man, Miss Selfridge and Wallis, is expected to result in the closure of a significant number of stores across the UK and there have been suggestions that Dorothy Perkins could share space in Top Shop's store in Sailmakers.
Mr Kreidewolf said: "Given the rent reduction, the doubts over the future of Arcadia group stores and the fact that Deichmann are prepared to offer a market rent for a long lease, it was something of a no-brainer for us."
The building work at the store is likely to take several months and Deichmann will then need some time to fit out the two storey unit.
If the current shop closes after the sales, they are expected to take a few weeks to clear away their fittings before handing it back to IBA. The building work should start in spring and take until early summer to complete - with the new store up and running in early autumn well in time for next year's Christmas shopping season.