Ipswich gift shop complains of 'quiet streets' as Google data shows footfall increase

Georgiana 'Ana' Negru at her Ana Gift Shop on 6 Upper Orwell St, Ipswich.

Georgiana 'Ana' Negru at her Ana Gift Shop on 6 Upper Orwell St, Ipswich. - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin/Archant

An Ipswich gift shop has complained about "quiet streets" since returning earlier this month. 

Georgiana 'Ana' Negru, originally from Romania, has been running the Ana Gift Shop at 6 Upper Orwell Street, for three years. 

And the pandemic has turned her "quiet" street even "quieter" as people have shifted away from in-person shopping. 

Some businesses like Primark and Debenhams did see long queues in Ipswich upon reopening earlier this month. 

And the latest mobility Google tracking data has shown that people have returned to retail and recreation. 

Footfall to Ipswich's retail shops is still down 35%, compared to before the pandemic, but not as low as when England was under lockdown. 

The Google mobility trends for people using restaurants, cafés, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries and cinemas in Ipswich on Wednesday, March 31 showed an 80% drop on the pre lockdown rate.

Use public transport and visits to workplaces have also increased a little over the past month, while people are using parks in Ipswich 80% more than they were compared to before the pandemic. 

Ana Gift Shop on Upper Orwell Street

Ana Gift Shop on Upper Orwell Street - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin/Archant

However, Ms Negru has claimed she has had a lot of success on social media as customers ask her to draw their or family members' portraits. 

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The mum of two boys also creates handmade gifts and has run a café upstairs from her small shop for the last year. 

Ana Gift Shop on Upper Orwell Street

Ana Gift Shop on Upper Orwell Street - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin/Archant

She is currently selling takeaway coffee and has some chairs outside for people to sit in line with government regulations. 

Her upstairs café will return when restrictions allow. 

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