Late night shopping could become a daily addition, says town centre expert
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Late night shopping could become a daily addition to Ipswich town centre, according a local business expert.
A staple of the festive season, late night shopping usually would have started in Ipswich one week earlier, although the second national lockdown meant the annual extension of trading hours was held back.
However, despite the pandemic, shoppers returned to the town centre in their droves on Thursday night, according to Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement.
Among the big name brands taking part in this year’s late night shopping include Lush, New Look and the Entertainer – while other stores such as TK Maxx, JD Sports and Primark have instead extended their opening hours into the evening six days a week.
Mr Clement said: “The town centre has been incredibly busy both during the day and during the evening – some retailers are staying open late on other nights and there are prospects of some trading through the night 24/7.
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“Late night shopping this year is going to be much more flexible than just staying open later on Thursday nights.
“Our hopes are entirely on one thing – and that is that on December 16 we enter Tier 1. Being in Tier 1 would make a huge difference for us and our economy – it has to be Ipswich’s concerted effort.
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“The important thing is that we all shop safely and boost our chances of entering Tier 1.”
Mr Clement added he would especially like to see independent shops in the town take advantage of the boost in consumer spending.
“Consumers are out there spending huge amounts of money,” he said. “The high street is rebounding hugely following the end of restrictions and independents should be encouraged by the massive amount of pent-up spending hitting the tills right now.”
The newest addition to the town centre, Deichmann, occupying the former Burtons and Dorothy Perkins unit, did not take part in the first week but will open for longer on December 10 and 17.
Another staple of the town centre, the Hot Sausage Company, was trading and will continue to serve up their famous sausages in the coming weeks.
A full list of shops taking part in this year’s late night shopping can be found here.