Revealed – The changing face of retail in Ipswich, in our interactive maps

Saturday morning crowds enjoying the new-look Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Saturday morning crowds enjoying the new-look Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

There has been a revolution in the way we use our town centres in the last five years – and with a growing number of high street chains currently struggling to make a profit, there is likely to be a wave of more change on the horizon.

Our interactive map demonstrates the changing retail landscape in Ipswich, showing which companies have benefitted and which have sadly had to shut up shop in recent years, as well as those that could be in trouble in the future, and also those that have recently opened.

Hover on the dots on the map to find out more.

Some of the town centre closures have been blamed on the development of the town’s sprawling retail parks.

In this map, you can see where these retail parks have sprung up and which stores have made them their home.

Here is a history of the retail parks in Ipswich, to give some perspective to these changes.

Martlesham Heath retail park

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Developed on part of the former wartime RAF Martlesham Heath base, where BT Adastral Park, Suffolk Police HQ and housing has also been built. Further stores built over the past 12 months.

Futura Park, Nacton Road

Newest site in town. Developed on the former Crane industrial site.

Riverside retail park, Ranelagh Road

On former railway land where travelling fairs and circuses would visit.

Suffolk Retail Park, London Road

Replaced the Ipswich Greyhound stadium and a ten pin bowling alley.

Interchange Retail Park, Copdock Interchange

Developed on ‘island’ sites created when the A12/Ipswich bypass junction was built. On agricultural land previously owned by Suffolk County Council.

Anglia Retail Park, Bury Road

Developed on common land/borough council owned land, after new A12 junction created.

Town centre trends

The growth of internet shopping, business rates, the rise of “in-home leisure” – people preferring to spend free time and entertain at home rather than go out and about – has been blamed for the challenging climate.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said that openings simply aren’t replacing the closures at a fast enough rate. “Specifically, the openings across ‘experiential’ chains, such as ice cream parlours, beauty salons and vape shops, haven’t been enough to offset closures in the more traditional categories.”

But in Ipswich town centre, we found that ‘experiential’ outlets appear to be thriving.

On top of the traditional retail offering, the town centre currently boasts six vape shops, 14 barbers, 17 hairdressers, 17 cafes/coffee shops and ten pubs.