Empty Ipswich shop snapped up by department store
- Credit: Archant
Family-owned Ipswich department store Coes has snapped up an empty shop near its Norwich Road base, it has been revealed.
Coes, established in Norwich Road since 1928, has been championing independent trade in the town with its Love Independents campaign this year.
Now it has bought the former Barrack Corner Co-op Daily food store, which had stood empty since 2015.
The East of England Co-op had decided to pull down the shutters in the face of increased food competition in the area, after new Tesco and Morrisons shops opened close by in St Matthews Street as well as a growth in smaller food retailers and corner shops in the town centre.
Coes' shopping business bought the Co-op to add it to its empire, and is already using much of the space.
Fiona Coe, head of marketing at Coes, said the spacious Co-op building, with access from Coes' car park had brought room for expansion.
She said: "We have our internet operation at the back of it, and computers and are using space for stock rooms as well.
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"There is a photographic studio for photo shoots.
"The only bit we haven't used as yet is the front, where there will be two units.
"One of those is going to be used for our corporate wear business,"
The plan was to revamp the front of the building early in 2020, she added, so that it didn't look like an empty, unloved building.
She added: "We want it to be a more attractive, nicer building. This is part of the regeneration of the Norwich Road area.
"We care about the area and Ipswich retail and we have a strong business community here, who work together in so many ways to keep the area light, clean and attractive as possible with limited funds.
"A few years ago we bought and redeveloped the Hare & Hounds pub and that is now Just A Day, a successful bridal shop.
"The Norwich Road business community is very tight and committed to the future."