'It was inevitable' - Ipswich shoppers' verdict on Argos closing
PUBLISHED: 17:12 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 19 June 2019
Ipswich shoppers have spoken out after another national retailer revealed it would be leaving the town centre.
Yesterday, Argos confirmed it would be closing its Carr Street branch by the end of the year.
For many the announcement is simply an inevitable sign of the times.
MORE: Argos in Ipswich is closing
Shoppers David and Avril Beale say they worry the closure could be a huge blow for the other retailers in and around Carr Street.
"It's the same everywhere", said Mrs Beale, "people are just shopping online.
"It's such a shame because it will affect all the other businesses, if no one is coming to this part then that will be end of this side of town."
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Mr Beale added: "It's surprising because of the size of it and Argos' prices are good but if you think of the size of the Co-op that used to be up there, that's gone too now."
Recent months have been tough for the town centre with a host of shop closures announced.
However, it is not all doom and gloom.
Alan Reyner, who has run Twist 'n' Shout clothing store in Buttermarket for nearly a decade, admitted while the closure of Argos was unavoidable, independent stores could still thrive given the right environment.
"When Argos started out it was all small purchases", he said, "but when you look in their catalogues now they sell so much stuff you can't lump around town - it was inevitable.
"People just shop differently now. If you are a catalogue shop you are as good as an online shop."
The shop owner said if business rates were reassessed Ipswich may go back to the "good old days" of independent and specialist stores ruling the high street and relying on customer loyalty.
He added: "If there was an incentive for independents and sole traders to come into the town that would be a way to get Ipswich ahead of other places - promote the independents."