7 Ipswich stores that opened for business this year

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden have opened the Geek retreat in Ipswich, a games hub full of fun thin

The ribbon is cut outside Geek Retreat in Ipswich, in a former Age UK store - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Several businesses have taken the plunge and opened new stores in and around Ipswich town centre in 2021, despite the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Here's seven that served their first customers this year.

Tesco Express, Tavern Street

Manager Chris Pines outside the new Tesco Express in Tavern Street, Ipswich, which is due to open on September 6

Manager Chris Pines outside the new Tesco Express in Tavern Street, Ipswich, which is due to open on September 6 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

There were fears the old Croydon's building in Tavern Street could be left vacant for some time when Jack Wills left, but Tesco snapped it up.

The supermarket's latest Express branch served its first customers in September.

Geek Retreat, Upper Brook Street

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden have opened the Geek retreat in Ipswich, a games hub full of fun thin

The new Geek Retreat will be in the former Age UK charity shop - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Pop culture store and café Geek Retreat has been expanding across the country and opened its Ipswich branch in October.

The store, which has proved a hit with the gaming crowd in Suffolk, has taken over the Age UK unit after it closed last year.

Microshops, Carr Street

Microshops in Carr Street

Microshops has taken on the former Peacocks store in Carr Street. - Credit: Paul Geater

This may be cheating as Microshops is multiple stores in one, but a number of small business set up in the former Peacocks building near the town centre in the summer.

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Inside you can find a florist, a coffee and a number of other small retailers.

Aldi, Europa Way

Area manager Sharna Willcox and Store manager Simon Castle

Area manager Sharna Willcox and Store manager Simon Castle - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Aldi created 22 new jobs in Ipswich when it opened its latest budget supermarket in Europa Way, off Sproughton Road, back in April.

The German retailer revealed later that spring it was looking to open more stores across Suffolk.

House of Tweed, Tavern Street

Some of the ranges at the new House of Tweed store in Ipswich

Some of the ranges at the new House of Tweed store in Ipswich - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

House of Tweed, a store selling handbags, clothes and accessories, opened in Tavern Street in November.

The national retailer moved into the former Hotter shoe store, initially only for the Christmas period.

Farmfoods, Meredith Road

Farmfoods is replacing the Aldi supermarket in Meredith Road, Ipswich

Farmfoods is replacing the Aldi supermarket in Meredith Road, Ipswich - Credit: Paul Geater

The closure of Aldi in Meredith Road opened the door for Farmfoods to swoop in and take charge of the sizeable unit.

The store opened eight days before Christmas and will operate alongside Farmfoods' existing shop in nearby Bramford Road.

Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill, Woodbridge Road

Lucy Storey has opened the zero-waste shop Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich. 

Lucy Storey has opened the zero-waste shop Lucy's Unwrapped & Refill in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Lucy Storey was able to open her first-ever store in July following a successful online crowdfunding campaign, which attracted more than £10,000 in donations.

It's an eco-friendly store allowing customers to refill on foods and chemicals, helping to protect the environment.